IV L-Arginine Infusion Decreases Endothelin-1 Levels and Improves Endothelial Function in Patients w/ Angina and Normal Coronary Arteriograms — Correlation w/ Asymmetric Dimethylarginine Levels
I know this title seems awfully long, but I will use this article to demonstrate an important, developing concept in regards to hypertension and CVD. Asymmetrical dimethylarginine (ADMA) is a compound that interferes with nitric oxide production. Keep in mind that nitric oxide is a potent vasidilator (this is the mechanism by which Viagra works–increased NO levels leads to greater blood flow…and so on…). Elevated ADMA levels will block the action of NO on blood vessels. Thus, anything that elevates ADMA levels will have a large impact on vasodilation and subsequently blood pressure. High insulin and homocysteine has been shown to increase ADMA levels by inactivating the enzyme that breaks down ADMA, essentially increasing ADMA levels.
In this study, we see that ADMA levels are increased in patients with Cardiac Syndrome X (not to be confused with Metabolic Syndrome X–someone should’ve check with someone on the nomenclature on THAT one!!) and administration of L-arginine reverses the effect of elevated ADMA (high arginine overrides ADMA suppressive effect). If this sounds confusing, keep your ears open–this concept will be gaining great interest over the next few years.
Circulation — Abstracts: Piatti et al. 107 (3): 429