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The Effects of Oral l-Arginine and l-Citrulline Supplementation on Blood Pressure

1
Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
2
Clinic for Plastic, Aesthetic and Hand Surgery, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany
3
Department of Microgravity and Translational Regenerative Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Mechanical Engineering, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1679; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071679
Received: 29 June 2019 / Revised: 14 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amino Acid Nutrition and Metabolism in Health and Disease)
Nitric oxide (NO) is a well-known vasodilator produced by the vascular endothelium via the enzyme endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). The inadequate production of NO has been linked to elevated blood pressure (BP) in both human and animal studies, and might be due to substrate inaccessibility. This review aimed to investigate whether oral administration of the amino acids l-arginine (Arg) and l-citrulline (Cit), which are potential substrates for eNOS, could effectively reduce BP by increasing NO production. Both Arg and Cit are effective at increasing plasma Arg. Cit is approximately twice as potent, which is most likely due to a lower first-pass metabolism. The current data suggest that oral Arg supplementation can lower BP by 5.39/2.66 mmHg, which is an effect that is comparable with diet changes and exercise implementation. The antihypertensive properties of Cit are more questionable, but are likely in the range of 4.1/2.08 to 7.54/3.77 mmHg. The exact mechanism by which Cit and Arg exert their effect is not fully understood, as normal plasma Arg concentration greatly exceeds the Michaelis constant (Km) of eNOS. Thus, elevated plasma Arg concentrations would not be expected to increase endogenous NO production significantly, but have nonetheless been observed in other studies. This phenomenon is known as the “l-arginine paradox”. View Full-Text
Keywords: amino acids; nutrition; nitric oxide; eNOS; blood pressure; hypertension amino acids; nutrition; nitric oxide; eNOS; blood pressure; hypertension
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MDPI and ACS Style

Khalaf, D.; Krüger, M.; Wehland, M.; Infanger, M.; Grimm, D. The Effects of Oral l-Arginine and l-Citrulline Supplementation on Blood Pressure. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1679. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071679

AMA Style

Khalaf D, Krüger M, Wehland M, Infanger M, Grimm D. The Effects of Oral l-Arginine and l-Citrulline Supplementation on Blood Pressure. Nutrients. 2019; 11(7):1679. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071679

Chicago/Turabian Style

Khalaf, David; Krüger, Marcus; Wehland, Markus; Infanger, Manfred; Grimm, Daniela. 2019. "The Effects of Oral l-Arginine and l-Citrulline Supplementation on Blood Pressure" Nutrients 11, no. 7: 1679. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071679

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