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Improve blood pressure by increasing arginine


Increase arginine to improve blood pressure

A study was recently published (university thesis by Francesco Rombolà – Dietitian) focusing on the effect of short-term supplementation with arginine. The sample examined consisted of 14 subjects, of which 7 were healthy and 7 were diabetic but without complications; the observations lasted 6 months during which the operators measured the blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) and the sphygmic wave (body position: supine, instruments: sphygmomanometer for blood pressure and oscillometer for pulsatile pressure on the walls of the vessels ); in parallel, were also carried out the analysis of the nutritional status and common blood tests.
Through the dietary history, the overall level of arginine intake in the diet was estimated and then specific dietary patterns were developed to increase intake. The foods richest in arginine and therefore added to the diet are: pine nuts, skinless guinea fowl leg, skinless chicken leg, whole rabbit and turkey; the most suitable cooking methods are: baked, baked, steamed, grilled and microwaved.
The food schedules administered were divided into 5 meals of which 3 main meals and two snacks.

NB. The concentration of other molecules capable of interfering with blood pressure, altering the results (omega3, polyphenols, flavonoids, etc.) was kept unchanged. The average amount of arginine administered was 8g/day.

I achieved results they are excellent; the sample of healthy subjects found a significant decrease in blood pressure while pulsatile pressure (PP) remained unchanged. Significant changes were also observed in diabetics: blood pressure was reduced as was PP, while macrovascular elasticity increased.
The study confirms that in type 2 diabetics “without complications” there is still a certain vascular impairment (affecting the endothelium) against which it is possible to act by promoting the intake of arginine. It works by increasing the production of ON and consequently favoring the elasticity of the vessels and/or optimizing the vascular compliance.

NB. The bioavailability of arginine depends not only on food sources but also on:

  1. Amount of Arginase enzyme in intestinal and liver cells
  2. Amount of transport inhibitors (asymmetric dimethylarginine and n-monomethylarginine).

The study was oriented towards the short term since, according to the results of other research, the administration of synthetic L-Arginine acts positively for a limited period of time, beyond which the parameters return to initial levels (effect of the increase in Arginase in enterocytes).
The most important aspect of the study is undoubtedly the decrease in cardiovascular risk (independent) attributable to the improvement of pulsatile pressure (PP) parameters; the administration of arginine alone is not sufficient to restore endothelial function, however it can increase the production of ON by improving the vascular compliance parameter.


  • Effect of an arginine-enriched diet on vascular compliance; experimental study on healthy volunteer and patient with diabetes 2 – Francesco Rombolà – CDL Dietetics – University of Siena – Journal of the National Association of Dietitians (ANDID) – twenty-second year, 2nd issue, bimonthly period 2nd bimonthly 2012 – page 6:9.
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