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Arginine Contributions by ColleenO

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  • Integrative MD
  • Naturopathic doctor
  • Clinical nutritionist or registered dietitian
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A typical supplemental dosage of arginine is 2 g to 8 g per day. For congestive heart failure, higher dosages up to 15 g have been used in trials.

Normally, the body either gets enough arginine from food (dairy products, meat, poultry, fish, nuts, and chocolate), or manufactures all it needs from other widely available nutrients. Certain stresses, such as severe burns, infections, and injuries, can deplete your body's supply of arginine. For this reason, arginine (combined with other nutrients) is used in a hospital setting to help enhance recovery from severe injury or illness.

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  1. Hambrecht R, Hilbrich L, Erbs S, et al. Correction of endothelial dysfunction in chronic heart failure: additional effects of exercise training and oral L-arginine supplementation. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2000;35:706-713.
  2. Rector TS, Bank AJ, Mullen KA, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of supplement oral L-arginine in patients with heart failure. Circulation. 1996;93:2135-2141.
  3. Watanabe G, Tomiyama H, Doba N. Effects of oral administration of L-arginine on renal function in patients with heart failure. J Hypertens. 2000;18:229-234.
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Three small, double-blind studies enrolling a total of about 70 individuals with CHF found that arginine significantly improved symptoms of CHF, as well as objective measurements of heart function.29-31

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Arginine is an amino acid found in many foods, including dairy products, meat, poultry, and fish. Research suggests that supplementing with arginine might be a helpful treatment for congestive heart failure (CHF).

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The body uses arginine for many processes, including making nitric oxide (NO), a substance that relaxes blood vessels and also exerts numerous other effects in the body. Based on this, arginine has been proposed as a treatment for various cardiovascular diseases, including congestive heart failure.

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