Exercise-Supplement Combo May Help a Failing Heart
WebMD News Archive
"There are weaknesses in this study," Steven Almany, MD, tells
WebMD. He points out that the study participants were healthier than those
doctors usually see, and that the researchers looked only at arm exercises.
"Does that mean that exercising the leg or heart should show similar
responses? We just don't know that," he says. Almany, medical director in
the department of cardiology at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.,
was not involved in the study.
Smith says that though the new data are interesting, larger-scale trials are
needed. "While [arginine] is a natural substance, we know that certain
natural substances can be harmful," he says. "There is a concern in the
heart failure community that patients are taking [over-the-counter] medications
that may have harmful effects."
But Almany has no problem giving arginine to his patients. "Right now,
if a patient asked me about taking arginine, I would have no [qualms] with
it," he says. Still, he adds, "This is not a definitive study, and we
need to take it further. One thing we do know is that exercise is beneficial
for people with heart failure. That's been proven."
- Recent research has shown that heart failure may be a disease that affects
the whole body, not just the heart.
- A new study shows that patients with heart failure could benefit from a
combination of exercise and the dietary supplement arginine.
- Experts criticized the study, saying that its implications were limited due
to the study's design and because the findings contradict those of similar