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L-arginine: a Primer for its power© J. Joseph Prendergast, MD

In the beginning, Dr. Robert Furchgott in 1980 found that the endothelial lining of the walls of blood vessels made a substance that kept the vessels smooth and dilated. This was Nitric Oxide (NO). Soon it was discovered that l-arginine converts to NO in the endothelium.

I learned about l-arginine in 1991 when I was in a professional association teaching physicians with Victor J. Dzau, MD when he was director of Cardiovascular Research at Stanford University Medical Center.

Dr. Dzau was appointed Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University and President and CEO of the Duke University Health System effective July 1, 2004. He is also James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and Director of Molecular and Genomic Vascular Biology at Duke.

He was the first to explain to me the extraordinary observation that atherosclerotic heart disease could not only be controlled but reversed. His research touched on clinical improvement and was forwarded with multiple studies by John P. Cooke, MD. Dr. Cooke is presently head of Cardiovascular Research at Stanford.

So far I have become the only long term study I know having started on l-arginine in 1991 when Victor Dzau introduced me to John Cooke, MD “who will tell you how much you and your patients should take”. It was my time.

In 2001 I had another CAT scan of my abdomen just like I had at age 36 that discovered my asymtomatic atherosclerosis. All my atherosclerosis was gone. I had a heart scan to confirm that all the calcium build up in the arteries was gone. None was seen. My score was zero.