Amino Acids

September 28, 2016

The Amazing Aminos

“All those vitamins aren’t to keep death at bay; they’re to keep deterioration at bay.”

 Jeanne Moreau,  Actress

Amino acid therapy is a relatively new field. Amino acids are what proteins are made of, and are vital to human health. Ten years ago you couldn’t find but a few articles on amino acids. Now there are thousands.

Over twenty years ago, the first amino acid to come on the scene, Phenylalanine, was highly touted by the holistic community, and many psychologists used it to treat depression. It worked well and some modest studies were done, but it fell by the wayside as most things do if they are not promoted by drug companies, the FDA, universities, and the media.


One amino acid, in particular, has grabbed the headlines in recent years, but most people don’t know its name: Arginine. Arginine produces a substance—nitric oxide—which is the active ingredient in Viagra. Nitric oxide improves sexual function by allowing blood vessels to dilate. You don’t need to take Viagra, by the way, to experience its benefits. You just need to take 1000 milligrams of Arginine—and you won’t pay $5.00 a pill (which is about what Viagra costs).

In addition to improving sexual function, Arginine can stop heart attacks, reduce plaque in your arteries, and lower blood pressure. There are thousands of studies on Arginine and quite a few books devoted to its miracle properties. The book No More Heart Disease was written by Dr. Louis J. Ignaro, one of three doctors to receive the Noble Prize for his work on nitric oxide, which led to the development of Viagra and other similar drugs.

Research on Arginine

Let’s look at some recent research studies about Arginine that are true eye openers.

• In 1996, University of Minnesota researchers published a paper in the journal Circulation, the official journal of the American Heart Association, showing patients with congestive heart failure to have improved circulation, increased walking distance, and an overall improvement in quality of life.

• In 1997, Dr. Rainer Boger and colleagues at the Hanover Medical School in Germany tested L-Arginine against Lovastatin, one of the major anti-statin (cholesterol lowering) drugs and found it far superior.

• In the 1997 August issue of Circulation, it was reported that Lovastatin had a weaker effect on plaque formation and artery wall thickening than L-Arginine.

• Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin found that L-Arginine was just as effective as vitamin E in stopping fat (LDL) oxidation and stopping free radical formation while the cholesterol-lowering drug Lovastatin increased free radicals.

• In 1997, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that Arginine was shown to increase blood flow to the heart.

• The 1997, the American Journal of Hypertension found “Oral Arginine had beneficial effects on hypertension (high blood pressure).”

This is just a sampling of the current research on Arginine as a vital nutrient for cardiovascular health.


Cartinine is not actually a vitamin or amino acid. It’s a protein like substance that has vitamin properties. The reason why I talk about it in here is because it’s made from a combination of two amino acids: Lysine and Methionine. Carnitine’s major function is to transport fatty acids into the cells, especially the heart muscle cells, for use as fuel. So, Carnitine is a great benefit for heart disease.

The heart is the most important muscle and making sure its energy needs are met is paramount to long life. If you are over 35 you should be taking Carnitine as a preventative. If you have had a heart attack, it can protect your heart cells and stop any further damage that would lead to a second heart attack.

Carnitine and myocardial ischemia

Carnitine has also been shown to help myocardial ischemia (lack of blood supply to the heart). People with myocardial ischemia have plaque in their coronary arteries that reduces blood flow and decreases oxygen to heart muscle cells. This causes chest pain (angina) and irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias). Because Carnitine brings more fuel in the form of fatty acids to the mitochondria (manufacturing plant) inside the cells, oxygen to the cells increases.

This groundbreaking finding by Dr. Thomsen and Dr. Shug was published in the American Journal of Cardiology in 1979. Since then, eight newer studies have confirmed the results.

You may be confused by all the jargon or you may be thinking, “What does myocardial ischemia have to do with me?” The answer is simple: everyone is on their way to heart disease, so the sooner you start preventive measures the better.

Dr. Jack Strong M.D., chairman of the Louisiana State University Medical Center, reported in the 1999 Journal of the American Medical Association that plaque can build up as early as age 15. Although the onset of heart disease is gradual, you can have over 40 percent blockage without symptoms. Research even shows heart cells dying before symptoms occur. This is sobering to say the least.

More research

Carnitine has overwhelming evidence to supports its use for heart health. Still not convinced? Here a bigger sample of the increasing research on Carnitine.

• Dr. Carl Pepine M.D., professor and director of cardiology at University of Florida, published a study in Clinical Therapeutics in 1991 showing that improved exercise ability and better EKG results were obtained with Carnitine treatment.

• A 1995 Journal of the American College of Clinical Cardiology study showed that more heart muscle survived a heart attack when Carnitine was administered after the heart attack than the control group. It also prevented further damage.

• Another study in the Post Graduate Medical Journal confirmed the above results and further showed that the Carnitine group had smaller areas of heart muscle damage than those who did not receive Carnitine.

• Carnitine has been shown to improve nerve and vascular function in diabetics.

• Finally, Carnitine lowers total cholesterol and increases (HDL) good cholesterol in diabetics.

Synergism with Carnitine

Some synergistic combinations that increase health and decrease disease risk include:

• Carnitine, combined with vitamin C, naturally lowers cholesterol levels without harmful side effects of cholesterol-lowering medication.

• Carnitine, coupled with coenzyme Q-10, increases heart-pumping efficiency by 20 percent, more than any other treatment.


Cysteine is another important amino acid because it increases antioxidant formation and stops free radical damage to cells. It also eliminates toxic compounds from the body such as mercury.

Lysine and Proline

If you do not have proper amounts of Lysine and Proline, you will not be able to form healthy collagen and strong elastic blood vessels. Lysine and Proline act as a Teflon agent that prevents cholesterol from sticking to injured arteries. Without these two amino acids, blood vessels will become weak and crack under pressure, which starts the development of plaque in arteries leading to heart attack.

Collagen is the main component of connective tissue. It makes up about one third of our bodies. Our bodies make blood vessels, bone, cartilage and skin from collagen. When our bodies do not have enough vitamin C, they cannot use the amino acids Lysine and Proline to make the proper cross links in the collagen. All major disease processes spread because of their ability to eat through the collagen supporting structure and move to surrounding cells.

As with vitamin C, Lysine cannot be produced by the body. Our dietary intake is usually deficient in Lysine. Proline can be produced by the body but usually in inadequate quantities.

Dosage Range of amino acids: 50-200 mg per day.

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