A molecule in the body, nitric-oxide (NO), can help relax blood vessels, which can result in the vessels dilating and blood flow moving more easily through them.  This type of action can help decrease stress in the body, which may help decrease high blood pressure.    

“NO, a dissolved gas, is made from the amino acid arginine (Ref. Robert K. Murray, MD, Ph.D., Daryl K. Granmer, MD, Peter A. Mayes, Ph.D., D.Sc., Victor W. Fodwell, Ph.D., Harper’s Biochemistry, 25th Edition, Appleton & Lance, Stanford, Connecticut, 2000, Pages 489-490).”  Thus you need adequate amounts of arginine in your diet to synthesize NO.  However, you do not want to supplement too much arginine.  Arginine in high amounts produces ammonia, a compound the body must neutralize.  When amounts of ammonia are too high in the body toxicity may result.

Dr. Michael Colgan in Optimum Sports Nutrition describes that arginine and ornithine as supplements, can be interchanged.  Dr. Michael Colgan has been a leading world scientist in nutrition the past three decades.  He writes, “For many purposes arginine and ornithine act interchangeably, or are converted to each other in the human body.” Dr. Colgan writes that the form of ornithine that may be the best form is ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate, called the supplement OKG.  The ratio Dr. Colgan recommends from preliminary results from a study going on at the Colgan Institute, “suggests that 200mg arginine hydrochloride, or 100 mg ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate,” a 2:1 ratio of arginine hydrochloride to OKG.  He also writes, ”Arginine also tends to promote herpes outbreaks in athletes who have either oral or genital herpes.  When any of these conditions occur, the athletes cut back on use and symptoms disappear.  To combat any herpes outbreaks we use 1 gram L-lysine three times daily, which has proved effective in some controlled trials.  But don’t take lysine along with arginine.  You will lose the arginine effect.”  Also, “avoid canceling the arginine/ornithine effect, they have to be taken three hours distant from other amino acids of the same class, and from any protein food (pages 332-334).  Colgan also describes, “ornithine also acts as an ammonia scavenger (page 377).”  So the supplement OKG can provide arginine and act as an ammonia scavenger.  It is also twice as potent as arginine, so you need less.  This you can consider the supplement OKG for your arginine needs.  These are excellent reasons to consider supplementing OKG instead of arginine.    

If you have high blood pressure you can consider consulting with a doctor or nutritional specialist, for the use of arginine as a supplement for high blood pressure.  You can also consider the supplement OKG, which is more potent than arginine and acts as an ammonia scavenger, helping to keep ammonia levels lower.  “Endothelial cells - the flattened cells that line every blood vessel-release NO in response to stimulation by nerve endings, and this NO causes smooth muscle cells in the vessel wall to relax, so that vessel dilates and blood flows more freely through it (Harper’s Biochemistry 2nd edition, page 489).  NO can reduce the workload on the heart, which can reduce the oxygen requirement of the heart muscle.  This reduces stress.  Anything that reduces stress in the body has the potential to reduce blood pressure.  NO need adequate amounts of arginine to be synthesized.  You may need a laboratory analysis to measure levels of arginine to see if you are deficient or you may consider nutritional counseling on supplementing arginine.  The arginine may have a beneficial effect on NO, which can prove beneficial in high blood pressure. 

Note - There is a supplement called L-arginine L-pyroglutamate.  Arginine breaks down a great deal in the bloodstream before it penetrates the blood brain barrier and reaches the central nervous system.  L-pyroglutamate penetrates the blood brain barrier much more efficiently than arginine and therefore does not break down as much.  The supplement L-arginine L-pyroglutamate uses the pyroglutamate as a carrier for arginine, so the arginine can get past the blood brain barrier easier and with less breakdowns.  Thus you can use less arginine to get its effects.  This also leaves fewer by-products from break down of arginine.  This is less stressful to the body, reducing the amounts of amino acid byproducts that need to be detoxed.  An effective dose of L-arginine L-pyroglutamate can be less than 1 gram.  Often arginine needs doses of 8 grams or more to be effective.  It may be more efficient to consider supplementing the pyroglutamate form.  It is available on this web site, at the product page.

Note – In order for these anti-aging ideas to be successful, you must use supplements of the highest quality. Dr. Bob often said, "almost all supplement companies produce poor quality." You can consider the product page of this web site. Almost all the products met Dr. Bob’s approval. Since he passed away we have attempted to keep the same high standards.


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The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated any of the statements contained on this web site. The information contained in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Remember each person's body is different and will react differently to various herbal, vitamin and mineral supplements. Therefore, any supplementation must be administered on an individual basis. Use the information found on this web site as precisely that: Information. You and your doctor must make any final decisions. This information is not meant to replace any doctor and patient consultation. This information should in no way replace your personal physician's advice.




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