Arginine: The Amino Acid Supplement For Heart Failure

Amino acid supplements are amongst the most popular nutritional supplements today. Several health benefits have been associated with them although some lack sufficient research. In this article, we will be looking at the effect of Arginine for heart health.

man with chest pain due to heart disease

In 2012 the dietary supplement market in America witnessed sales of about $32.5 billion. This is to show that a lot of Americans make use of these supplements. The amino acid supplement is a popular one, especially among weight lifters and bodybuilders. Lately, the amino acid Arginine for heart health is getting attention.

Arginine deficiencies are rare, there is an abundant supply of it in various food and it is a nutritionally nonessential amino acid as your body can produce it. Example of foods that are rich in arginine includes poultry, fish, red meat, dairy products, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, and grans. But what is the specific function of arginine to the heart and does it come with any side effects? Let’s look at that nest

Why You May Need Arginine For Heart Health

Another name for arginine is L- arginine, which contributes to several bodily functions. These include wound healing, relaxing and dilating the arteries, aiding the kidney in removing the bodily waste product and maintaining hormone and maintaining immune function. 

How does arginine benefit the heart? When this amino acid is in the body, it is changed into a potent neurotransmitter called nitric oxide. This neurotransmitter helps to relax your blood vessels and improves circulation. 

There is some evidence suggesting that arginine helps in improving heart arterial system blood flow. This may improve the symptoms of angina or chest pain, disease of coronary arteries, and clogged arteries. However, there are no data that shows the effect on heart health or cholesterol from using arginine for the long term. 

Since there is a possibility of arginine improving blood flow and relaxing the arteries, it is possible that it also relieve erectile dysfunction

Arginine can potentially affect health by reducing blood pressure and improving walking during leg cramping. However, the research here is inconclusive for any recommendations to be made yet. 

Also, note that not every study conducted on arginine have sung praises of this amino acid, some studies suggest that arginine may be harmful and not in any way helpful in treating heart attacks. 

Arginine For Heart Health: How Safe Are They? 

In clinical research and trials, arginine is safe to use, with only a few side effects that lasted for about three months. These side effects include bloating, gout, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. It may also worsen breathing for asthmatic patients. 

Arginine also interacts with specific medications that reduce blood pressure. It may interact with drugs and heart medications like viagra for erectile dysfunction treatment. Nursing and pregnant and nursing women should speak first with their doctor before using this supplement. 


There is no established recommended daily dosage of arginine. The reason for this is that the body normally produces enough of it. 

About 1200 mg daily is suggested to be a helpful dosage. Discuss the benefits and risks with a doctor before using it. 

Other Supplements That May Affect Your Heart

Asides from the amino acid, here are some other supplements that you should think twice before taking or generally avoid them, particularly if you are are at risk of cardiovascular diseases or heart failure;


Approximately forty-three percent of Americans take calcium supplements for their bone health. This includes about seventy percent of senior women. However, recent research at John Hopkins discovered that the use of calcium supplements might increase one’s chances for heart damage and buildup of plaque in your arteries.  

Although experts have agreed that this relationship may not necessarily be a cause and effect one. In truth, calcium benefits human’s cardiovascular system only when it has optimal vitamin K 2 and D as they help in managing calcium status. 

Without a good amount of vitamin K 2 or vitamin D in the body, calcium tends to deposit itself in some other tissues such as your arteries. It is better to talk to a doctor before you start taking calcium supplements. If you feel the need to increase your body’s supply of calcium, the best way to do that is through your diet. You don’t have to take its supplement. 

Licorice root

This herbal root improves digestive and prostate health problems like acid reflux, gut discomfort, and ulcers. It may also be used to relieve inflammation and menopause symptoms including coughs, bacterial, and viral infections. 

Yet this licorice may reduce your potassium levels and increase your blood pressure, so people with cardiovascular disease history are advised to avoid taking it. 


Yohimbe is usually marketed for correction of erectile dysfunction although its effectiveness is not clear. It also claims to regulate appetite, help depression, and assist in weight loss but a person with heart disease should not take this to prevent adverse cardiac impact. 


The issue of dietary supplements can be a little bit tricky. But there are some cases where a particular nutrient is deficient and as such, the person would need to supplement it. Often it’s best to do these through your diet but just in case you have to go for supplement make sure to carry professional medical help along. 

Amino acid supplements are amongst the popularly used supplements that have been abused by some. Please take caution when taking it, we cannot say for certain if it will affect your heart health positively or negatively as there will be some other factors to consider. To stay safe, consult a doctor before use. 

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