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L-Arginine-B vitamin combination effective for blood pressure improvements: Study

By Stephen Daniells , 22-Feb-2017
Last updated on 22-Feb-2017 at 18:13 GMT2017-02-22T18:13:55Z

© iStock/yodiyim
© iStock/yodiyim

A combination of l-arginine with folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 may improve vascular function and help reduce blood pressure, says a new study from Germany.

Supplementation with the commercially available Telcor Arginin plus supplement produced significant improvements in the reactive hyperemia index, a measure of endothelial function that demonstrates improvements in vascular function, reported scientists from the University of Hannover, Ulm University of Applied Sciences, and University Clinic Münster.

Data from a placebo-controlled clinical trial with 81 people indicated that blood pressure measures improved and homocysteine levels significantly decreased. 

“This trial confirms the efficacy, safety and tolerability of a dietary intervention combining l-arginine and B vitamins for the purposes of improving cardiovascular health,” wrote the researchers in the European Journal of Nutrition .

“The primary efficacy analysis demonstrates a statistically significant superiority of the l-arginine and B vitamin combination over placebo in improving and restoring the impaired endothelial function after fat loading in a group of subjects with slightly to moderately elevated BP.”

Study details

Participants aged between 40 and 65 were randomly assigned to receive a combination of L-arginine and B vitamins (2.4 g l-arginine, 3 mg vitamin B6, 0.4 mg folic acid, 2 micrograms vitamin B12) or placebo for three months. The participants were followed for a further three months without supplementation.

Results showed that reactive hyperemia index (RHI) increased in the intervention group (0.37 increase), no significant changes were recorded in the placebo groups at the end of the study, said the researchers.

“A normal RHI score is defined as 1.67 or higher while lower values indicate vascular dysfunction which is related to an impairment of endothelium-dependent vasodilatation, and which is considered to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality,” explained the researchers.

In addition, systolic blood pressure significantly decreased by an average of 6 mmHg over the study period for the arginine group, but not in the placebo group. There was also a tendency for diastolic blood pressure to decrease.

“In a recent review, based on more than 600,000 participants even modest changes in blood pressure were evaluated as being clinically significant,” they wrote. “For example, a 5-mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure was associated with a 14% reduction in stroke risk and a 9% reduction in coronary heart disease risk. Thus, it is justified that the positive effects of the test preparation on BP in our mildly hypertensive patients are interpreted as clinically relevant.”

Source: European Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1007/s00394-016-1342-6
“l-Arginine and B vitamins improve endothelial function in subjects with mild to moderate blood pressure elevation”
Authors: D. Menzel et al. 

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