Introduction: Numerous studies indicate hyperglycemia and oxidative stress as factors responsible for endothelium dysfunction and the following development of angiopathy. Increased production of free radicals by vascular endothelium causes disturbance in production and/or decreases bioaccessibility of nitric oxide (NO). It has been suggested that L-arginine supplementation is a reasonable method to increase endothelium NO production and lower free radicals formation. There is a growing number of evidence showing that dietary supplementation of arginine reverses endothelial dysfunction associated with major cardiovascular risk factors and ameliorates many common cardiovascular disorders.
Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the potential influence of two-months oral L-arginine supplementation on fasting glucose, HbA1c, nitric oxide and total antioxidant status (TAS).
Materials and methods: 38 patients with atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease of lower extremities at Fontaine's stage II and coexisting type 2 diabetes and 12 healthy volunteers as control group were studied. All patients were treated with oral L-arginine (3 x 2 g/day) for two months. Fasting glucose, HbAlc, nitric oxide and total antioxidant status (TAS) were measured before and after the study.
Results: Fasting glucose and HbAlc did not change significantly after L-arginine treatment. Statistically significant increase in NO concentration and TAS level was found.
Conclusions: Oral two-month supplementation with L-arginine (3 x 2 g/day) had no effect on fasting glucose and HbA1 level in diabetic patients with atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease of lower extremities at Fontaine's stage II. The supplementation of L-arginine led to substantial increase in NO concentration and TAS level in these patients, suggesting its indirect antioxidative effect.