American Holistic Health Association (AHHA) - L-arginine & Heart Failure Patients
Supplement Add-On Helps Heart Failure Patients

Adding the amino acid L-arginine to an exercise regimen may help improve heart failure patients' physical fitness by reducing the heart rate and enhancing their endurance. In two recent studies, stable heart failure patients who took L-arginine for 6 weeks experienced beneficial results in terms of exercise tolerance. This long-term combination therapy appears to help correct the abnormal blood vessel function seen in this condition and may improve the ability of heart failure patients to perform their daily activities, which goes a long way toward improving their quality of life.

Research comments from The Health Resource Newsletter Vol. 22, No.l, 2006.

Source: International Journal of Sports Medicine July 2006
"Chronic L-arginine supplementation enhances endurance exercise tolerance in heart failure patients."
Doutreleau S, Mettauer B, Piquard F, Rouyer O, Schaefer A, Lonsdorfer J, Geny B.

The purpose of the study was to determine the potential beneficial effect of six weeks oral L-arginine supplementation (LAS) on endurance exercise, an important determinant of daily-life activity in patients with chronic stable heart failure (CHF). After an initial incremental maximal exercise test, CHF patients performed an identical thirty-minute interval endurance exercise test before and after six weeks with (L-arginine group; ARG) or without LAS (control group; CTL). Hemodynamic, respiratory, and metabolic parameters were determined at rest, during exercise, and during recovery. Mean heart rate decreased throughout exercise and recovery after LAS (- 8.2 1.4 b min-1; p = 0.003 and - 6.7 1.6 b min-1; p < 0.001, respectively), systemic blood pressure and respiratory parameters remaining unchanged. Resting L-argininaemia increased from 102 11 to 181 37 mol l-1 (p < 0.004) and exercise-induced peak increase in plasma lactate was blunted after LAS (4.13 0.75 vs. 3.13 0.39 mmol l-1; p = 0.02). No significant change was observed in the control group. In heart failure patients, six weeks oral LAS enhances endurance exercise tolerance, reducing both heart rate and circulating lactates. This suggests that chronic LAS might be useful as a therapeutic adjuvant in order to improve the patient's physical fitness.