A medical food bar enriched with arginine and vitamins increased the exercise capacity and quality of life of those with angina. Arginine is an amino acid that can produce the gas nitric oxide which, in turn, may improve the functioning of blood vessels. So you might think that arginine might help people with heart problems, especially those with angina, by enhancing blood supply to the heart.
In fact the validation for arginine supplements so far is not especially convincing. But researchers in the US have just disclosed good results for a medical food bar having arginine and a cocktail of vitamins along with soy isoflavones. A group of 30 patients with angina received either the arginine bar or a placebo bar twice a day for two weeks, then crossed over to the other treatment for another two weeks.
AdvertisementBlood flow increased in the arteries for those consuming the arginine bar as did exercise capacity. Quality of life also went up, although there was no obvious improvement on these patients' ECG scores. These findings propose it would be worthwhile doing a bigger study of the effect of arginine, in conjunction with vitamins, in people with angina.