These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult with your doctor about interactions with prescription medications or supplementation you may be taking. Work with your doctor if you wish to get yourself off prescription drugs.
Recommended Reading about L-Arginine & Heart Disease:
(this first one is out of print, but worth the search)
"The Arginine Solution" - James Thornton, Robert Fried Ph.D., Woodson C. Merrell
"NO More Heart Disease" - Dr. Louis J. Ignarro
"Let's Stop The Number One Killer In America Today" - Dr. Harry A. Elwardt
"The Cardiovascular Cure" - Dr. John P. Cooke, Judith Zimmer
"Why Animals Don't Get Heart Attacks... But People Do" - Dr. Matthias Rath
Well that's a question you should never ask someone who is trying to sell you a product. I will give you my honest opinion, and viewers of the TV show will know of my integrity on this issue. I do offer a brand called Empirical Labs which is not available in health food stores or the internet. It is a product marketed similarly to Standard Process, which is available only to health care professionals with certain credential qualifications. I thoroughly test the products I offer on myself, and have tested other brands on myself as well. I also listen carefully to other people's experiences with the products they are using and below you will find some of the more common brands I have tested, found, or investigated. Contact me if you want this product, but I have to add a small amount for postage.
Look for free base form L-Arginine or the pyroglutamate variety. Incorrect ingredients in L-Arginine products can block L-Arginine's entry into the body as a free form amino acid. The L-form (left-handed) of Arginine is acceptable for human use, while the D-form (right-handed) is not. The D-form of L-Arginine is an example of an unacceptable form of L-arginine, though there are many other unacceptable forms, including L-arginine antagonists. Unfortunately most labels will not tell you what type is in the bottle or may only say "pharmaceutical grade".
Most brands of L-Arginine out there are not aimed at the cardiovascular market, so be weary of products with too many ingredients as this can reduce or cancel out nitric oxide production (no protein!). L-Arginine on its own is fine except that it tastes terrible! Might as well be drinking gasoline. So look for a blend that has something to improve the taste, which usually involves the addition of a sweetener of some kind. Since high glycemic formulas (any product that contains corn syrup, glucose, glucose polymers, sugar, sucrose, fructose, maltodextrins, honey) is something never recommended, look for either stevia or Xylitol as a sweetening agent (no artificial sweeteners - danger, poison!). Liquid products are good too, and would have the benefit of anti-oxidants if the base were a juice such as goji, noni, mangosteen, tart cherry, etc., and these juices have the sugars needed to make the product taste better.
L-Arginine powder on its own should do the job, but the addition of L-Citrulline (anywhere from 200mg to 1000mg per 5000mg of L-Arginine) will boost nitric oxide production considerably.
I thoroughly test the products I offer on myself, and have tested others on myself. I also listen carefully to other people's experiences with the products they are using and below you will find some of the more common brands I have tested, found, or investigated. If you would like your favorite brand shown or tested here, tell me about it.
Formor "Cardio Cocktail" price $75 per 28oz bottle which is a 28-day supply @5gr/day. It is a liquid product, has a palatable taste, and must be kept refrigerated after opening as with most other liquid products. Discounts are available on this product if you join in their multi-level marketing family. If you buy/sell enough of the stuff you can get the price per bottle down to around $44 (plus shipping) a bottle (64 bottles per month rate!). I have personally tested one bottle of this product and have found like all others I have tested with L-Arginine that it does work to bring down DPA scores. With me it was about 2 years of my DPA scores in 28days @5gr/day. Because of the MLM nature of it's marketing, the price is about four times that of what I offer while still doing the same job as it's intended marketing target clientele - Heart Disease. This is the product most DPA owners offer to their clients, the reason being the way it is marketed to DPA owners. I was considering offering this product to my clientele, but it's hard to justify it's higher price in my mind. Formor has a similar product called "Arginex" which is a stripped down version of Cardio Cocktail that is offered at $40 per 28oz bottle which still has a 5gr daily dose of L-Arginine for 28 days, but the company doesn't promote this product much and doesn't offer deep discounts to it's distributors like the Cardio Cocktail, so no one is making much money on its sale - hence the lack of promotion for the product. The only other real possible disadvantage to these products besides the price is that they must be kept refrigerated, so you would have to get some of the even more expensive individual travel packets if you were away from home. If you can afford the price of this product - go for it! I can get you bottles of Cardio Cocktail for $65 a bottle if you want them. Update: in June 2008 Formor came up with a slightly different formula with a supposedly better taste, a new label, a new bottle, four additonal ounces in the bottle, and a higher price of $82.50. Another update: in August 2009 Formor had to drastically reduce their prices largely because of competiton from the next listed Arginine product, so now it has a suggsted retail price of $49.95, and $39.95 if you get on their autoship plan (plus postage and handling). Formor is also involved with a product called "Nobel" which is also an Arginine/Nitric Oxide Cocktail but the bottle is deceptive in that it has 25 ounces, but the L-Arginine dose is only 2 grams, and the L-Citruline dose is 50mg per one ounce serving, so it is only a 10 day supply at the 5gr reccomended dose of Arginine and costs $32.95 ($25 for members) a bottle, so it is much more expensive than the Cardio Cocktail in terms of Arginine content.
The Good Life International "Cardio Protegen" (formerly Mega Cardio Health Plus) this product, unlike other liquid products has no goji, acai, mangosteen and EDTA because they found they apparently blocked the absorption of the arginine and in their place they have added 1000 mg of, 100 mg of CoQ10 and 100 mg of resveratrol compared to the above Cardio Cocktail. The reason I compare this to Cardio Cocktail in this respect is because this is the product people were abandoning in favor of Cardio Protegen is because of certain individuals who have done so and are promoting it as the next greatest thing. The ingredients list includes the proper dosages of L-Citrulline, and overall looks to be a pretty good buy as far as the liquid products go, but I have not had the opportunity to test it yet. It also has many more ingredients added to it for those who think you can do everything with one product (see special note about the vitamin D in this product below in the Arginine Plus section). Believers of the resveratrol hype will like the fact that is has this as well. The price is $39.95 a bottle if you autoship, $41.95 if you want to buy just one bottle without autoship (these prices are without shipping), but the retail price shown on the bottle is $59.95. This product is a 32 ounce supply, which is for a 5gram dose for 30 days. There an unsweetened version. There is also a better tasting sugar-free version with sucralose (Splenda)... beware, research Splenda! It pains me to say this since I almost was an employee for this company to promote it nationwide; since it contains choecalferol (see the L-Arginine Plus product below about vitamin D), I would not likely recommend it. I have not tested this product myself yet, but I do know of another DPA tech that swears by it.
"Cardio For Life" [formerly "Cardio4Life "changing its name due to infringement] this product is a powder packaged for The Health Guardian (Dr. Harry Elwardt) and contains the proper mixture of L-Arginine and L-Citruline to do what we want it to do for cardiovascular improvement. It comes in peach, grape and orange flavors. It also has a lot of other ingredients including the much hyped resveratrol if you think that is what you need. Please research for yourself the type of resveratrol that really gives the benefit that the studies show, and then find out which type is really in the products. You might find two types, and you will likely find the type that gives the claimed benefit is very expensive and may not be in any of the products promoted for the consumer market. Cardio4Life has 300 grams of powder in a jar that mixes with water and has the proper ingredients to take out the bad taste of the arginine. I have only tasted one flavor, and it was among the better tasting powders. This powder is not yet really promoted like most other Arginine products and is not yet multi-level, but you will likely find it for around $40 a jar which is for a 30 day supply maintenance dose of 5gr/day. Update June 2010: The formula list keeps changing and growing since it's introduction. For those of you that think more "stuff" on the label and fractionated synthetic USP vitamins are good for you, then this is your choice for a powder. Many companies today cater to the ignorant consumer who looks at a label and says "this must be good, look at all the stuff in it!" Update February 2014: Upon further investigating the Vitamin D issue with this product I find it indeed has Cholecalciferol in it like most arginine products these days even though they refuse to list it on the label. If you ask them they will tell you; sheep's wool. The lanolin oil in the wool is exposed to UV light and synthesized into Cholecalciferol. Read the next several product reviews if you don't know what this means.
"L-Arginine Plus" priced at about $39.95 for a one month supply with a massive national advertising campaign. I recently had a viewer of this site ask me to evaluate this product and to include it here. I was told by this writer that this one doesn't have all the other unneeded ingredients in it that might interfere with the absorption of the L-Arginine so perhaps it might be better. Maybe so, but one of those ingredients in this product is a perfect example of why you should beware of synthetic USP vitamins. Look closely; it shows Cholecalciferol as the source for the vitamin D. So what's wrong with vitamin D? Vitamins are good right? This is a chemical invented by man that the FDA allows them to call a vitamin. Try looking up this chemical. I find it as the active ingredient in a rodent killer called "Quintox Mouse Seed" which the manufacturer says "the toxicant mobilizes calcium from the bones into the bloodstream which produces hypercalcemia and death from heart failure." The label for the Quintox Mouse Seed says Cholecalciferol is the one and only active ingredient at 0.075%. Yep, that small of amount with 99.925% of inert ingredients is enough to do in a mouse! You decide if you want to consume Cholecalciferol. I would rather consume something like dandelion leaf which is a natural plant that is very high in vitamin D; has all the vitamin D co-factors too which your body knows what to do with. The problem with this is that if I were to put dandelion leaf in my product, the FDA would not allow me to say I have vitamin D in the product! You be the judge if you want Cholecalciferol in your arginine product. For that matter if you want any other synthetic fractionated USP vitamin in your body. Will it work for my heart disease you still insist on asking? Well see if does contain the right amount of L-Arginine and L-Citruline in it to help with your intended goal.
Nature's Sunshine "RG-MAX" price $59.95 per bottle (retail), which is a 20-day supply at 5gr/day. Curious thing about this powder unlike the others; the wide-mouth jar is much larger than other powders, apparently because the sweetener used to make this product palatable is Xylitol, a favorite with this company. There appears to be actually more Xylitol than L-Arginine in this product! Most other companies add stevia as a sweetener to improve the taste of their products, and since stevia is quite a bit sweeter per serving than Xylitol, less is needed. It's taste is palatable and has the addition of a berry-like flavor some may find enjoyable. This product is fairly new to the L-Arginine scene, but the company is a well respected and has been around for 35 years so I wouldn't have a problem recommending their products overall, but I have not had a chance to test this product yet. Based on the ingredients I see, it think it should work fine, however the lack of the inclusion of L-Citrulline is curious since there is a lot of research out there to suggest about 200mg/day can help boost nitric oxide production even more when included with the L-Arginine, and literature promoted by Nature's Sunshine even says this. For this reason alone I would have to have some evidence to see if it is as effective as those that do include L-Citrulline. The price is about as steep as the higher priced liquids when compared as a per-dose basis, partly because of the way this company presents its products to the consumer. If you are a member to their line of products you can get a 25% discount. To be a member you have to buy at least $40 of product at retail once per year to qualify for the discount. A slight disadvantage, but you may like some of their other products, or may already be a member. If you can afford it, I can probably recommend it. Update October 2013: in an attempt to "improve"on their arginine product, Nature's Sunshine is now making a product called ProArgin-9 Plus by a company called Synergy. No need to even review it here since it has high levels of Cholecalciferol in it (see explanation from product above). Looks like a trend lately to attempt to get more vitamin D into our bodies. Yes, many of us need more Vitamin D, but not the pharma way! Go out and get more sunlight, and while you are out there eat some dandelion leaves!
Forever Living Products "Argi +" price $60.00 per bottle (retail), which is a 30-day supply at 5gr/day. In October 2013 a reader of this website asked me if I knew who Dr. Murad was. At first I was at a loss but later realized he was one of the three credited with the 1998 Nobel Prize for their work with nitric oxide. Usually Dr Louis Ignarro is the one mentioned which isn't fair to Robert F. Furchgott and Dr. Ferid Murad who were also awarded. Then the reader asked me if I was open minded. Well yes, but that usually means they are wanting to sell me some new "best on the market wonder arginine" under them as a multi-level relationship. So I did some looking was excited that there may be another good product on the market and find that apparently Dr. Murad has endorsed a product as did Dr. Ignarro (see Niteworks above). Here's a tip for all of you that want me to rate your product: read this page then read the ingredients on your label before you make such a request as it may backfire on you! This one is a case in point. It's loaded with synthetic "vitamins", contains no citruline, and worse yet it shows Cholecalciferol as the source for the vitamin D! If you don't know why that's bad, then you again haven't read this page (see L-Arginine Plus and others above). I am at a loss to explain to you why so many of the new arginine products on the market contain Cholecalciferol; it's probably an attempt to keep competitive with the other products on the market that load themselves with synthetic vitamins for the ignorant consumer to think they are getting much needed vitamins into their bodies but in fact may be doing great harm. Yes the FDA recognizes these as "safe" but they also recognize so many other toxins as safe that other countries ban outright. DO SOME RESEARCH!
ProArgi-9 + I'm not sure what the point is rating new products anymore. In January 2014 another e-mailer asked me to rate ProAri-9+ from Synergy Worldwide. Again, what's the point if all new products contain Cholecalciferol pretending to be Vitamin D3? This one brags of having 625% of the recommended daily value of vitamin D. Mind you that this is a chemical mimicking vitamin D, and they add even more to make it "better!" So here you could get mega doses of this chemical that can do in a mouse. Please read the descriptions of the above three products if you don't know what I am talking about, the e-mailer sure didn't.
Herbalife "Niteworks" price about $49 per bottle, which is a 15-day supply at 5gr/day, or a larger bottle at about $90 per bottle for a 30-day supply at 5/gr/day. Since the release of Dr. Louis Ignarro's book "NO More Heart Disease" and the statement there that no one was making a product based on his recomendations, I was excited to hear he had later teamed up with a company to do just that! Well here it is with his recomendations from the book that includes L-Citrulline, Vitamins C & E, Folic Acid, L-Taurine, Lemon Balm Extract, and Alpha Lipoic Acid. Interestingly the product has an undisclosed amount of L-Citrulline (label says "proprietary blend" of 5.2gr of L-Arginine and L-Citrulline), but based on the book it is probably 5000mg of L-Arginine and 200mg of L-Citrulline, so I'm sure the product has these in the right proportions. Looks like a great product, although I don't know why they decided to improve its taste with Sucralose as a sweetener. As with all the other above multi-level marketed products, I have pains that such a potentially great product costs so much because of it. If you become a distributor, I am told you could get it for about half the retail price. I'm sure I can recomend it since it is a product based on this Nobel Laureate's research on Nitric Oxide/L-Arginie, but I have not personally tested this product. Again, if you can afford it and don't have a problem with the sweetener used in this product, go for it.
Good Herbs "Performance Plus" This product is quite different than all the others above in that it does not contain any L-Arginine per se, but is still supposed to generate nitric oxide in the blood just as the above products are supposed to do. This of course would be great for those who for some reason or another cannot take L-Arginine. The ingredients in Performance Plus are apple and grape polyphenols. The claim is that if you take 250mg of Performance Plus, it will dilate your blood vessels by 50%. The product thereby contains natural vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B and has a high organic iron content. Price on this is between $42 to $56 depending on if you join the company's low level multi-level marketing plan. That's a 60-day supply according to the label, but I don't yet know how much nitric oxide prodution that equates to in comparison to the reccommended 5gr dose of L-Arginine. I recently just encountered this product and although I like their herbal product line in general, I still need to test it to see if it has any cardiovascular benefits that I am able to confirm with the Digital Pulsewave Analyzer. I am conducting tests on two subjects at the moment and will keep you posted on the results. I will also have to admit that I am a distributor for this company's products and can offer this product for sale at the wholesale price of $42. Again, beware of claims made when someone is trying to sell you something. Order page for this product can be found here.
Dr. Matthias Rath's "Cellular Health program" These series of products by a great organization and accompanying book by Dr. Rath called "Why Animals Don't Get Heart Attacks... But People Do" base their premise of heart disease correction primarily on Vitamin C, L-Lysine and L-Proline. Great potential here from great research with a great number of testimonials and following, including the backing of the late two time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling for his work with Vitamin C. Most of these products do not contain L-Arginine, however there is certainly something to be said of Vitamin C for blood vessel health, in fact it appears to be the key for long term health. I am currently doing my own research in this area, so keep posted. Very possibly these products could be a great addition to taking L-Arginine based products. If you want to go on Dr. Rath's endorsed products and are anywhere near the Ann Arbor Michigan area, please contact us for discount cardiovascular screenings for research purposes. Update June 2012: five years later I am still trying to validate the vitamin C claims. I have tested many people who go on a mega dose of vitamin C, and I have yet to see an improvement in DPA scores, or more important to me, greater arterial flexibility as shown by a bigger dicrotic notch of the plethysmograph waveform on the DPA. I have never seen L-Arginine help here either, but of course I don't really expect arginine to help with arteriosclerosis in any event. I think the problem stems from the fact that almost all the products on the market use synthetics like Ester C, ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, or other ascorbates and calling it vitamin C which the general public believes. None of those of course is the whole C complex, they are synthetics. For a good article on synthetic USP vitamins vs whole foods see this article: http://www.doctorsresearch.com/articles1.html I am looking for progressive individuals to get on whole food complex vitamin C regiment to help me continue research here. That would mean supplementing with foods high in natural Vitamin C, and other plants such as rose hips, white oak bark, grape seed, white pine, nettle, bilberry, triphala... all of these are foods/plants that have the whole complex of vitamin C.
The key point is to get on any effective L-Arginine product that you can afford and that doesn't have all the synthetic crap in it that might be damaging to your health!
click here to purchase L-Arginine
Remember too that much higher doses of Vitamin C have been shown necessary to maintain arterial flexibility and endotheliem health. I hope to have a section on this page soon on that topic, but do your own research in the meantime.
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