Oral L-arginine improves endothelium-dependent dilation in hypercholesterolemic young adults
This study analyzed the effects of the natural amino acid L-arginine on the dysfunction of the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction is defined as an imbalance of relaxing and contracting factors of endothelial cells. 27 patients aged 19 to 40 years with endothelial dysfunction and high cholesterol levels were included in the study. The researchers concluded that dietary supplementation with L-arginine improves the endothelial function in adults with high cholesterol levels. Further details can be found in the study.
Lipid disorders are characterized by imbalanced levels of fatty substances (i.e. cholesterol and triglycerides) in the bloodstream. These lipids are carried in the blood stream in form of microscopic round particles, called lipoproteins. Thus, these conditions are also called lipoprotein disorders. There are, generally speaking, two types of cholesterol-transporting lipoproteins: a) the “bad cholesterol” are those lipoproteins that carry cholesterol and other fatty substances to the sites of tissue repair, e.g. in the artery walls; the most common representatives of this group are Low-density-lipoproteins (LDL) and, a newer one, Lipoprotein(a), Lp(a). b) the “good cholesterol” are those lipoproteins that carry cholesterol and other fatty substances away from the sites of tissue repair and transport it back to the liver where it is biologically “burnt” One of the most frequent causes why “bad cholesterol” particles are elevated in the blood stream is micronutrient deficiency. This can be easily explained: A deficiency of vitamins causes structural damage to the artery walls and other organs and the body (liver) reacts with an increased production of “repair factors” like LDL and Lp(a). Because the elevation of these risk factors in the blood is already a reaction damage of our body tissue caused by vitamin deficiency, they are considered “secondary” risk factors.
P Clarkson, M R Adams, A J Powe, A E Donald, R McCredie, J Robinson, S N McCarthy, A Keech, D S Celermajer, and J E Deanfield. Oral L-arginine improves endothelium-dependent dilation in hypercholesterolemic young adults. J Clin Invest. 1996 Apr 15; 97(8): 1989–1994.