Chronic L-arginine supplementation enhances endurance exercise tolerance in heart failure patients.
Int J Sports Med. 2006 Jul;27(7):567-72. PMID: 16802253
Service de Physiologie et d'Explorations Fonctionnelles et UPRES EA 3072, Institut de Physiologie, Faculté de Médecine, Strasbourg, France. Stephane.Doutreleau@physio-ulp.u-strasbg.fr
The purpose of the study was to determine the potential beneficial effect of six weeks oral L-arginine supplementation (LAS) on endurance exercise, an important determinant of daily-life activity in patients with chronic stable heart failure (CHF). After an initial incremental maximal exercise test, CHF patients performed an identical thirty-minute interval endurance exercise test before and after six weeks with (L-arginine group; ARG) or without LAS (control group; CTL). Hemodynamic, respiratory, and metabolic parameters were determined at rest, during exercise, and during recovery. Mean heart rate decreased throughout exercise and recovery after LAS (- 8.2 +/- 1.4 b x min(-1); p = 0.003 and - 6.7 +/- 1.6 b x min(-1); p<0.001, respectively), systemic blood pressure and respiratory parameters remaining unchanged. Resting L-argininaemia increased from 102 +/- 11 to 181 +/- 37 micromol x l(-1) (p<0.004) and exercise-induced peak increase in plasma lactate was blunted after LAS (4.13 +/- 0.75 vs. 3.13 +/- 0.39 mmol x l(-1); p = 0.02). No significant change was observed in the control group. In heart failure patients, six weeks oral LAS enhances endurance exercise tolerance, reducing both heart rate and circulating lactates. This suggests that chronic LAS might be useful as a therapeutic adjuvant in order to improve the patient's physical fitness.