L-arginine protects arteries

L-arginine improves endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and reduces intimal hyperplasia after balloon angioplasty.

The present study tested the efficacy of the natural amino acid L-arginine in protecting against atherosclerosis. Special interest was given to early vascular changes in the arteries, the thickening of the inner layer of the artery (intima), also called intimal hyperplasia. The study was performed with 26 rabbits that received either normal drinking water or L-arginine-enriched drinking water over a period of 3 weeks. The subsequent investigation of the arteries revealed that the blood vessel walls of animals treated with L-arginine had a significantly lower tension. This indicates a reduced blood pressure. Moreover, in the L-arginine group the diameter of the intima layer of the vascular walls was significantly decreased. The results suggest that L-arginine may counteract pathological vascular changes. More details can be found in the study.
Coronary bypass operation. A coronary bypass operation becomes necessary if one or more coronary arteries have developed severe atherosclerotic deposits that threaten to clog the arteries and cause a heart attack. In order to avoid a heart attack, a coronary bypass operation is frequently performed. Surgically, a bypass is constructed around the atherosclerotic deposits in order to guarantee unrestricted blood flow to all parts of the heart muscle. The overall success of a coronary artery bypass operation is threatened by two main problems: blood clots and atherosclerotic deposits. Coronary angioplasty. Coronary angioplasty is the approach of removing atherosclerotic deposits mechanically. This approach generally involves an inflatable balloon or, more recently, laser or scraping methods. All angioplasty procedures damage the inside of the coronary arteries. In more than 30% of all cases a restenosis occurs, leading to the clogging of the coronary artery within a time as short as six months. The most serious complications during the procedure is the rupturing of the wall of the coronary artery, requiring immediate bypass surgery. Following the procedure, blood clots and small pieces of artery wall tissue can lead to a clogging of the coronary artery. Long-term complications include the overgrowth of scar tissue inside the coronary artery and the continued development of atherosclerotic deposits.
Tarry WC, Makhoul RG. L-arginine improves endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and reduces intimal hyperplasia after balloon angioplasty. Arterioscler Thromb. 1994 Jun;14(6):938-43.



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