Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Philanthropy at Mayo ClinicYour support accelerates powerful innovations in patient care, research and education. Give today.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
L-arginine (el-AHR-jih-nene) is a substance that's found in nuts, fish, red meat, soy, whole grains, beans and dairy products. It's also available in supplements.
Some people take L-arginine because it's believed to relax and open arteries, which might help lower blood pressure.
Research on L-arginine has had mixed results. But, the most recent research suggests that L-arginine may lower blood pressure. Still, larger and longer term studies need to be done to confirm that L-arginine supplements can reduce blood pressure before experts can recommend everyday use of these supplements.
Your body usually makes all the L-arginine it needs. Taking a supplement is rarely necessary and may be of benefit only to people who have a deficiency.
L-arginine supplements can interact with some medications, including nitroglycerin, some high blood pressure medications and erectile dysfunction medications. Don't take L-arginine supplements if you've had cold sores or genital herpes. Too much L-arginine in your system can trigger the virus that causes those conditions.
If you want to reduce your blood pressure, talk to your doctor about treatment options, including healthy lifestyle changes. If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before starting any new herbal or dietary supplements, as these might adversely affect your blood pressure.
Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D.
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization and proceeds from Web advertising help support our mission. Mayo Clinic does not endorse any of the third party products and services advertised.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.