Arginine and diabetes

 Hi Dr., I have diabetes type 2, also hi BP & cholesterol, 1 kidney with stage 3 kidney disease, overweight 323 lbs, my question is: am I able to use arginine along with my meds, I feel in pretty good shape and would like to start working out again and walking to loose weight. What do you think as I am ready to order and start working on my goals........thanks.....John


As an amino acid, Arginine does not have many known interactions with other medications.  It can increase nitric oxide production which stimulates the relaxation of blood vessels.  This is often a desired effect of Arginine and is used to help lower blood pressure.  When you start using it, you may want to monitor your blood pressure more regularly to watch for any consistent dips or lows.  If your blood pressure stays consistently lower, work with your doctor to adjust your blood pressure medication.  

There was one study that showed unfavorable results for people taking arginine after having a heart attack.  So, if you have ever had a heart attack it is not recommended to take arginine until more is understood about its affects on people with damaged cardiovascular tissue.

Some people with recurrent herpes infections can experience more frequent outbreaks when taking Arginine.  Certain herpes viruses seem to use arginine as a preferential fuel for replication.  Taking 500-1000mg of lysine with the arginine will often offset this problem.

If you are using it to improve the results of your workouts, one recommendation is to take it right before bed.  Arginine is thought to improve muscle building by increasing growth hormone levels.  Due to the fact that growth hormone is released primarily when we are sleeping at night, before bed is the preferred time to take it.

Arginine seems to have other effects related to exercise enhancement related to transport, storage and elimination of nitrogen in muscle cells as well as increasing muscle creatine stores.

There are some concerns regarding the use of arginine for people with kidney disease.  In some individuals arginine supplementation may cause disruptions of electrolyte balance which can be dangerous for people with compromised kidney or liver function.  You may want to consult with your doctor before taking arginine due to your history of kidney disease. 

In Health,

Dr. Passero



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As a certified and fully trained Naturopathic Doctor, Passero has trained and preceptored with some of the nation's leading doctors in the field of natural medicine, working under the guidance of MD’s, Chiropractors, Naturopaths and Acupuncturists. Furthermore, he is currently the Vice President of the Maryland Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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