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Dietary Supplement L-arginine may cause Death

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According to a recent study of 153 people who have suffered heart attacks, the dietary supplement L-arginine did not reduce vascular stiffness as its manufacturer advertised, reported [REUTERS].

The study was brought to an abrupt halt after six volunteers taking this over-the-counter supplement died during a six-month test, researchers said. All six deaths in the study consisting of heart attack patients (8.6 percent) were among the 78 patients who added L-arginine to their normal medical treatment regimen. There were no deaths among the 75 heart attack patients who received a palcebo instead.

L-arginine is also used as a treatment for hypertension, angina, heart failure and sexual dysfunction. Rather than improve the heart's ability to pump blood, Dr. Steven Schulman of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore concluded in the [Journal of the American Medical Association] that the study be terminated and "L-arginine should not be recommended."

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