Hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the leading causes of disability or death due to heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure in this country
In most cases of hypertension, relaxation of blood vessels (vasodilation) is compromised; a condition that requires nitric oxide (NO). When nitric oxide levels become deficient, blood vessels can become constricted, reducing blood flow and leading to: high blood pressure, inflammation, elevated homocysteine levels, early stages of atherosclerosis, stroke, or congestive heart failure. Vessel stiffness and rigidity are also related to angina, erectile dysfunction, and peripheral vascular disease.
L-arginine, a non-essential amino acid, is the precursor for the production of nitric oxide, therefore, necessary for healthy blood flow. To ensure proper vasodilatory function, large doses of L-arginine, over sustained periods of time, are necessary. Although L-arginine reaches peak concentrations quickly, within an hour, both L-arginine and nitric oxide diminish rapidly, thus are no longer at effective levels. A sustained-release formulation of L-arginine is found in Perfusia-SR from Thorne Research. This delivery method overcomes L-arginine’s tendency to spike and then diminish, by slowly releasing and maintaining consistent blood levels for longer periods of time.
Several studies have been conducted on L-arginine, one of which specifically reviewed the effects of Perfusia-SR on BP and blood vessel compliance. A total of .1 g (1050 mg taken twice daily) of sustained-release L-arginine (perfusia) was taken for one week. Systolic blood pressure was reduced in 62% of all participants and diastolic blood pressure was reduced significantly in 69% of all participants. There was also a significant increase in large artery compliance, meaning that the blood vessels became more elastic— an important effect since arteries that are stiff are more likely to be constricted, increasing BP.