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View Full Version : L-arginine being pulled in Canada after linked to deaths


mahloni
Thu, June 22nd, 2006, 10:30 AM
Health Canada is pulling L-arginine from shelves after a number of studies had participants die while taking L-arginine. It seems the risk is attributed to people who have had prior heart attacks or heart disease.

"Dr. Steven Schulman of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., had been conducting a clinical trial on L-arginine, but stopped it after six participants died. They concluded that the amino acid might increase the risk of death in patients who have had heart attacks."

The Canadian study by Ottawa heart surgeon Dr. Marc Ruel did not use participants who have had heart attacks like the Hopkins study but he has decided to end his work anyway.

Any more information or comments on this?

The Canadian study used participants with heart disease but not heart attacks. No deaths but it is bing ended anyway.

Do only heart attack survivors need to worry?

What are the effects on healthy individuals?

Mahlon


http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2006/06/21/arginine.html

Supplement used in Canada after being linked to U.S. deaths
Last Updated Wed, 21 Jun 2006 14:25:11 EDT
CBC News

The dietary supplement L-arginine continued to be sold in Canada and was used in a clinical trial long after U.S. researchers linked it to six deaths, a CBC investigation has learned.

The amino acid is a hot seller in health food stores across the continent, where it is touted as a natural alternative to drugs for erectile dysfunction and particularly good for the heart.

But it's being pulled off the shelves of Canadian stores pending new labelling, after Health Canada issued an advisory in May warning people who have had prior heart attacks not to take L-arginine.

Ottawa heart surgeon Dr. Marc Ruel had been testing the supplement on volunteers with severely diseased hearts for more than a year before he first heard about the U.S. study, when the deaths were made public in January, CBC Radio News investigators have learned.

Researchers led by Dr. Steven Schulman of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., had been conducting a clinical trial on L-arginine, but stopped it after six participants died.

They concluded that the amino acid might increase the risk of death in patients who have had heart attacks but didn't publicize the results until 18 months later, in the January 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Canadian patients not told for months

When he heard about the results of the U.S. study in January, Ruel did not inform his patients because he felt his study was different than Schulman's, which looked exclusively at heart attack patients.

Ruel did not enrol anyone who'd had a heart attack.

"If you look at the Schulman paper, the reason why they stopped the study was because of increased mortality," said Ruel. "Well, in our study so far, we've recruited 20 patients, and all those patients have done well. There hasn't been a single mortality."

Medical ethicist criticizes delay

But Ruel has drawn fire from medical ethicists.

Some of them say people should be told of any information that might influence their decision to enter or continue with a clinical trial.

"If I told you now that another study with this drug had been halted because of excess deaths, is that something you would want to know?" said Dr. Michael Goodyear, who specializes in research ethics at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Ruel plans to end trial

Ruel said he sent letters to his patients to alert them to the U.S. findings, asked his data and safety monitoring board whether his trial was safe to continue, and put his study on hold.

However, in early June, Ruel sent an e-mail to the CBC saying he intends to end his study regardless.

He said he feared that the CBC's inquiries would result in a controversy he wants to avoid.

Copyright 2006 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - All Rights Reserved

Andrew
Thu, June 22nd, 2006, 10:42 AM
http://www.nutraingredients.com/news/ng.asp?n=64859-l-arginine-may

Glaive
Thu, June 22nd, 2006, 11:00 AM
Arginine is a precursor to nitrous oxide, a vasodilator, which means it causes your blood vessels to "open up" more than normal. This facillitates the transfer of nutrients through the bloodstream and helps give you that "pumped" feeling, both of which are reasons that some people advocate the use of Arginine or some other NO2 product (ornithine, citrulline malate, etc.).

The increased bloodflow resulting from increased levels of nitrous oxide is also what is responsible for the benefits for people with erectile dysfunction and so forth, as that issue is commonly caused by impaired blood flow due to age, blood pressure medication, and so forth.

I've still seen no evidence that Arginine is unsafe for people without contraindications (such as heart disease), but then again you could argue that there's also been insufficient evidence gathered that it has enough benefits to supplement with. I've personally used a stack of Ornithine-AKG and Arginine-AKG and felt a big difference in pumps in the gym, but I can't definitively say there was any sort of measurable gain in results apart from that.

GRCRYSTYK
Thu, June 22nd, 2006, 12:01 PM
There isn't any mention of just how the Arginine effects the heart. Does the fact is opens up the blood vessels, actually put too much stress on a persons heart that has already had some damage? In other words, some how the heart can't push enough volume through the system with the lessened resistance, subsiquently overworking the heart?

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bradh
Thu, June 22nd, 2006, 04:10 PM
Pretty ironic, this is mention in today's t-nation article and Dave Barr who is from Canada gives his research on why Arginine is dangerous.

I never really read through it thou i'm not interested in $50 products for a some kind of "pump".

Anyhow, for those that are interested or take the product you might want to take an objective look. :)
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1121099

Kino
Thu, June 22nd, 2006, 04:17 PM
Arginine is actually pretty cheap (http://www.bulknutrition.com/?products_id=1620).

bradh
Thu, June 22nd, 2006, 04:29 PM
Arginine is actually pretty cheap (http://www.bulknutrition.com/?products_id=1620).

I never really looked for the stuff but i did look at those NO products a good while back - there fairly expensive if i remeber correctly.

I don't need any more supplements Kino, you should know that. :lol:

My staples: Protein powder, greens and fish oil.

Glaive
Thu, June 22nd, 2006, 07:02 PM
Actual bulk powders like L-Arginine, Arginine Alpha Keto Glutarate, or Arginine Ethyl Ester are comparitively affordable.

What gets expensive is when companies stuff those products into a capsule with random unnecessary crap, give it a cool name, and charge you an arm and a leg for it.

So at least in my opinion most "NO products" aren't worth the money. There's only so much improvement you can really make on something, and most bodybuilding supplements aren't revolutionary ingredients as much as small modifications to existing products. Look at how many manufacturers make some special form of creatine. Most are just regular old Creatine Ethyl Ester with some sort of flavoring agent added, maybe some L-Argininie as well. I can understand paying a little more for something that greatly enhances a poor-tasting product (like flavored hydrolyzed whey), or fixes some other major shortcoming (like Xtend does for both the taste and mixability of BCAA's, although I still don't use it), but for the most part it will always work out significantly better for your to buy ingredients in their simplest, preferably bulk form.

Going purely by bulk prices the various forms of Arginine are certainly affordable, although you can still argue that the cost is more than the benefits are worth.

Right now I'm trying out just using Citrulline Malate. It has benefits as an endurance enhancer as well as a recovery aid, but is also a nitrous oxide precursor as well. Some people have suggested that it actually may be a more effective way of raises NO levels than regular Arginine due to absorption issues. Even if it isn't, it sure seems like more of a bang for your buck. While I don't necessarily get the same pump I did when I was using Ornithine and Arginine as well, I still notice a difference in pump compared to not having all three, and it definitely seems to make a difference in terms of my exercise endurance.

GRCRYSTYK
Thu, June 22nd, 2006, 09:11 PM
So whats everybodies thoughts on this report? Anybody plan to scale back their use of NO type products?

Being there is thoughts of their usefullness to begin with. I thought some may set it all aside, and roll on without it,...

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tennisball
Fri, June 23rd, 2006, 01:43 AM
The healthy NO users can keep wasting their money. And the heart attack-prone NO users should save theirs.



So whats everybodies thoughts on this report? Anybody plan to scale back their use of NO type products?

Being there is thoughts of their usefullness to begin with. I thought some may set it all aside, and roll on without it,...

>>>--->


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