Arginine was first identified in 1895, but its importance in promoting heart health would not be discovered until 1989.
Dr. Louis Ignarro, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in that year along with two other American doctors, was one of the pioneers in conducting research on the health benefits of L-Arginine. They were awarded the Nobel prize due to their discovery of Nitric Oxide and its positive effects on the body’s cardiovascular system.
Dr. Ignarro believes that, based on his thirty years of research, Nitric Oxide may actually reverse heart disease in addition to preventing it.
Nitric Oxide is a gaseous molecule that is used by the body to send signals between cells. One of its most important roles in the body is that it acts as a vasodilator. Vasodilators are medicines that open blood vessels by relaxing the muscles in the walls of veins and arteries. They ensure that blood flows more easily through them since they are prevented from tightening. This lowers your blood pressure since your heart doesn’t have to pump with much force.
Arginine is converted into Nitric Oxide in the body by enzymes known as Nitric Oxide Synthases. Once produced, the molecule is then released into the bloodstream.