The effect of L-arginine supplementation on lipid profile: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Amir Hadi, Arman Arab, Sajjad Moradi, Ana Pantovic, Cain Clark, Ehsan Ghaedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)


A number of clinical trials have examined the effect of L-arginine on lipid profile in recent years; however, the results remain equivocal. Therefore, the present study aims to summarize and quantitatively examine the available evidence on the effectiveness L-arginine supplementation on lipid parameters by employing a systematic review and meta-analytic approach. Online databases including PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, Cochrane library, and Google Scholar were searched up to April 2019 for randomized controlled trials that examined the effect of L-arginine supplementation on lipid profile in adults. Treatment effects were expressed as weighted mean difference (WMD) and the corresponding standard error (SE) in concentrations of serum lipids. To estimate the overall effect of L-arginine supplementation, we employed the random-effects model. In total, 12 studies were included in the systematic review. The meta-analysis revealed that L-arginine supplementation did not significantly change the concentrations of total cholesterol (WMD: -5.03 mg/dl; 95% CI: - 10.78 to 0.73, P= 0.08, I2=39.0%), low-density lipoprotein (WMD: -0.47 mg/dl; 95% CI: -3.61

to 2.66, P=0.76, I2=0.0%), or high-density lipoprotein (WMD: 0.57 mg/dl; 95% CI: -1.28 to 2.43, P=0.54, I2=68.4%). A significant reduction was observed only in serum triglyceride (TG) levels (WMD: -7.04 mg/dl; 95% CI: -11.42 to -2.67, P˂0.001, I2=0.0%). This meta-analysis concludes that L-arginine supplementation can significantly reduce blood TG levels, however, there is insufficient evidence to support its hypocholesterolaemic effects. To draw straightforward conclusions regarding generalized recommendations for L-arginine supplementation for improving lipid profile, there is a need for more well-controlled trials targeting exclusively patients with dyslipidaemia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1032
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number9
Early online date24 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2019


  • L-arginine
  • Lipid profile
  • Meta-analysis
  • Supplementation
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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