There are plenty of powerful new drugs to help prevent and treat chronic health problems. But we also know that certain nutrients may help, as well. Take arginine, for example. Arginine has gotten lots of attention lately for its potential heart benefits. That's important because, today, about 85.6 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease.

Deficiencies of arginine are rare. It's abundant in many different types of foods, and your body can also make it. Arginine-rich foods include red meat, fish, poultry, wheat germ, grains, nuts and seeds, and dairy products. But what does arginine do for the heart?

In the body, the amino acid arginine changes into nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is a powerful neurotransmitter that helps blood vessels relax and also improves circulation. Some evidence shows that arginine may help improve blood flow in the arteries of the heart. That may improve symptoms of clogged arteries, chest pain or angina, and coronary artery disease.[1][2][3][4][5]

Since arginine may help arteries relax and improve blood flow, it may also help with erectile dysfunction. There are other potential health benefits with arginine, such as possible reduction of blood pressure in some people and improved walking distance in patients with intermittent leg cramping and weakness known as intermittent claudication.[6] L-arginine is also involved in a number of different functions in the body. They include:

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. The information provided above comes in part from WebMD.


1. Giugliano, D., Marfella, R., Coppola, L., Verrazzo, G., Acampora, R., Giunta, R., ... & D’Onofrio, F. (1997). Vascular effects of acute hyperglycemia in humans are reversed by L-arginine evidence for reduced availability of nitric oxide during hyperglycemia. Circulation, 95(7), 1783-1790.

2. Hambrecht, R., Hilbrich, L., Erbs, S., Gielen, S., Fiehn, E., Schoene, N., & Schuler, G. (2000). Correction of endothelial dysfunction in chronic heart failure: additional effects of exercise training and oral L-arginine supplementation. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 35(3), 706-713.

3. Chin-Dusting, J. P., Alexander, C. T., Arnold, P. J., Hodgson, W. C., Lux, A. S., & Jennings, G. L. (1996). Effects of in vivo and in vitro L-arginine supplementation on healthy human vessels. Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology, 28(1), 158-166.

4. Kilbourn, R. G., Gross, S. S., Jubran, A., Adams, J., Griffith, O. W., Levi, R., & Lodato, R. F. (1990). NG-methyl-L-arginine inhibits tumor necrosis factor-induced hypotension: implications for the involvement of nitric oxide. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 87(9), 3629-3632.

5. Fu, W. J., Haynes, T. E., Kohli, R., Hu, J., Shi, W., Spencer, T. E., ... & Wu, G. (2005). Dietary L-arginine supplementation reduces fat mass in Zucker diabetic fatty rats. The Journal of nutrition, 135(4), 714-721.

6. Preli, R. B., Klein, K. P., & Herrington, D. M. (2002). Vascular effects of dietary L-arginine supplementation. Atherosclerosis, 162(1), 1-15.