Therapeutic role of L-arginine on free radical scavenging system in ischemic heart diseases

Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2009 Dec;46(6):498-502.


Increased production of free radicals under oxidative stress conditions plays a vital role in the impairment of endothelial function and also in the pathogenesis of ischemic heart diseases. Ischemia, followed by reperfusion, leads to the exacerbated formation of oxy- free radicals. These reactive oxygen species through a chain of reactions damage the cardiomyocytes and cause more injury to the myocardium. L-Arginine is reported to act as free radical scavenger, inhibits the activity of pro-oxidant enzymes and thus acts as an antioxidant and these roles of L-arginine are mediated by nitric oxide (NO). In the present study, the effect of oral administration of L-arginine (3 g/day for 7 days) on some antioxidant enzymes, total thiols, lipid peroxidation measured as malondialdehyde (MDA), and plasma ascorbate levels in myocardial ischemic patients was investigated. We observed an increase in the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), total thiols (T-SH) and plasma ascorbate levels and a decrease in the activity of xanthine oxidase (XO), MDA levels, carbonyl content and serum cholesterol in the patients on oral administration of L-arginine. The present study demonstrates that L-arginine administration may be beneficial to patients with myocardial ischemic disorders, such as acute myocardial infarction and acute angina.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arginine / administration & dosage
  • Arginine / pharmacology*
  • Arginine / therapeutic use
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Free Radical Scavengers / administration & dosage
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Ischemia / blood
  • Myocardial Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / enzymology
  • Myocardial Ischemia / metabolism*
  • Oxidants / metabolism
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Xanthine Oxidase / metabolism


  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Oxidants
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Arginine
  • Cholesterol
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Xanthine Oxidase
  • Ascorbic Acid