Arginine is best known for its effects on the cardiovascular system. It is a substrate for nitric oxide synthase, which converts arginine into nitric oxide (NO) in the vascular endothelial cells. NO is also known as endothelium-derived relaxation factor that causes vasodilation in the vasculature. Many of arginine's effects are thought to be the result of this effect. NO itself is a vastly important molecule in several vascular-related conditions including maintenance of blood pressure44 and proper myocardial function.45
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