Covid-19 | Low dose of arginine speeds up recovery
Supplementation with three grams of L-arginine per day almost halves the number of days that patients with a serious form of covid have to spend in hospital.
The researchers, who are affiliated with the covid department of the Ospedali dei Colli in Naples, Italy, published a trial in EClinicalMedicine in which 90 covid patients participated. All subjects were hospitalized because of covid.
The Italians gave half of their subjects a supplement containing L-arginine every day in addition to their regular medication. The subjects in this group took a supplement containing 1.7 grams of L-arginine twice a day. This amounts to 3.4 grams of L-arginine per day.
The researchers used Bioarginina, a product of Pharmaceutici Damor. You see it above.
The other half of the subjects received a placebo.
The researchers had hoped that L-arginine, perhaps through a positive effect on the blood vessels, reduced the chance that the study participants would have to be admitted to the ICU because of lung damage. This was not the case.
L-arginine did ensure an accelerated recovery. The average test subject in the control group was able to go home after 46 days. This was 25 days in the subjects in the L-arginine group.
The researchers suspect that infection with SARS-CoV2 depletes the body's stores of L-arginine, causing the T cells, which have to fight the coronavirus, to become deficient in L-arginine and function less well. [J Clin Immunol. 2021 Apr;41(3):515-25.] Arginine supplementation eliminates this deficiency, so that the immune system has less difficulty with the virus.
Some immune cell types use arginine as fuel. That is why some oncologists have considered using L-arginine supplementation as a complementary treatment for cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2016 Jun 1;16:343.
"Our results may have important clinical implications for COVID-19 treatment especially in low resource environments were vaccination is not widely available, given the safety and the affordability of oral L-arginine", write the Italians.
EClinicalMedicine. 2021 Sep 9;101125.
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