Does L-Arginine Cause Heart Attacks?

Naturally Savvy
Naturally Savvy

L-Arginine is also known for its ability to raise growth hormone levels, thus providing anti-aging benefits such as the reduction of adipose tissue and the increase of muscle mass.

L-Arginine improves immune function and reduces the healing time for injuries.

It also improves sperm counts and sperm motility, thereby alleviating male

infertility problems.

The issue of L-arginine causing deaths in previous heart attack victims was brought up in the Jan. 4, 2006 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association. This was a surprising finding given that L-arginine helps enhance circulation, improving coronary artery blood flow. Viagra, the prescription drug that mimics L-arginine, probably causes heart attacks by a similar mechanism.

In this study, all of the subjects were elderly heart attack patients and were using various prescription drugs. While the addition of L-arginine to the treatment protocols may have led to the sudden deaths, there is nothing in this study that would indicate that L-arginine used alone without prescription cardiac drugs poses any danger for healthy individuals without heart disease.

If you have had a heart attack in the past, I would not risk using L-arginine at this time. Further study of this supplement is indeed warranted to establish safety guidelines for those who are in your situation.

Dr. Zoltan Rona

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Dr. Zoltan P. Rona is a graduate of McGill University Medical School (1977) and has a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry and Clinical Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut (1984). He is past president of The Canadian Holistic Medical Association (1987-88) and is the author of three Canadian bestsellers: The Joy of Health (1991), Return to the Joy of Health (1995) and Childhood Illness and The Allergy Connection (1997). He is co-author with Jeanne Marie Martin of The Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook (1996) and is the medical editor of the Benjamin Franklin Award winning Encyclopedia of Natural Healing (1998). He has had a private medical practice in Toronto for the past 35 years, has appeared on radio and TV as well as lectured extensively in Canada and the U.S. Dr. Rona currently writes regular articles for Reader’s Digest, Alive, Vitality magazine and for several web sites. His latest book “Vitamin D, the Sunshine Vitamin” was published in 2010. In 2011, Dr. Rona was named Chief Medical Advisor for NAKA Herbs and Vitamins and has developed a line of nutritional supplements (TriStar Naturals) which are sold in health food stores across Canada. He can be found at