L-arginine, Vascular diseases, NO
L-Arginine, a semi-essential cationic amino acid involved in multiple areas of human physiology and metabolism, is a precursor of nitric oxide, and, recently, it has been found to crucially influence endothelial function. Arginine appears to be safe and effective therapy for many health conditions, particularly vascular diseases responsive to modulation of endothelial-derived relaxing factor including intermittent claudication, angina pectoris and erectile dysfunction. However, L-arginine metabolism is still not fully understood, highlighting a complex implication for its pharmacological use in clinical practice. In this review, we want to point out the lights and pitfalls of L-arginine as potential therapeutic option in vascular disorders.