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Could a Humble Stir-Fry Be Your Life Saver?

Scientists at the Great Ormand Street Hospital agree that Bragg Liquid Aminos is part of a healthier diet to reduce the risk of Heart Disease & Arteriosclerosis!

See article excerpt below by Angela Brooks for the London Daily Mail, Jan. 14, 1997

When Marla Trump, wife of the billionaire Donald Trump, gets into the kitchen to whip up a meal for herself and daughter Tiffany, she pours a dash of olive oil into her wok, tosses in an assortment of vegetables, and finishes it off with a generous squirt of a liquid soy bean base which combines 16 amino acids, including L-arginine.

Blonde she might be, stupid she certainly isn't, say scientists at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London, who now believe that this simple amino acid could be a powerful weapon in the war on arteriosclerosis, a degenerative disease of the arteries and the number one killer in the Western world. Amino acids are known as the building blocks for proteins, and L-arginine, found naturally in foods such as meat, nuts, eggs and cheese, has long been favored by weight lifters, bodybuilders and celebrities for its reputedly powerful fat-burning action.

But the idea that you could use it as part of your everyday life, and turn fried food into a health-giving experience, is quite novel. Remarkably, however, this new American cooking fad is backed up by some extraordinary new research. Early results of trials at Great Ormond Street Hospital suggest that L-arginine has a far loftier mission than mere bodybuilding. It is seen as a tool for saving the lives of potential heart patients under sentence of death from a cocktail of risks, including high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, stress, family history of illness, obesity and lack of exercise - all triggers of arterial disease.

Dr. John Deanfield, a consultant cardiologist heading the research at Great Ormond Street, says: "The reason L-arginine is so important is because of its marked ability in restoring the function of vessel walls after only a month of treatment. The past ten years of our understanding of arterial disease has shown that the artery is not just a pipe with blood flowing in it. The wall of the artery is actively involved in the regulation of vascular function, and that if you damage certain cells in the lining of the artery, by smoking or any of the other risk factors, then you are more likely to develop arteriosclerotic disease."

In a healthy person, nitric oxide, which protects the vessel walls from the fatty deposits which cause disease, is produced constantly. It is nitric oxide, which regulates the vessel walls, expanding them, for example, for increased blood flow when you run for a bus, and also preventing platelets and the blood cells from sticking to the artery walls. But the ability of the arteries to produce nitric oxide becomes severely impaired when the arteries fur up and narrow. And that is when L-arginine comes into play, because what doctors have discovered is that the artery walls absorb the L-arginine, and from it an enzyme is able to break it down into crucial nitric oxide.

Remarkably, with the help of ultrasound, doctors at Great Ormond Street have been examining the arteries in children as young as five. "It has been known for years that the process of damage to the artery walls often occurs in the first decade of life," says Dr. Deanfield. "Children with high cholesterol in the first ten years of life already have damage to the endothelium (artery lining ), much like teenage smokers and even people exposed to passive smoking."

There are pathological studies of 20-year-olds showing really quite established arterial disease in apparently completely well people. If they hoped to make a dent in the epidemic of heart disease, then scientists at the hospital felt that their best chance was prevention, to see if they could pick it up and try to nip it in the bud with L-arginine at the earliest possible stage. All those selected for the Great Ormond Street trial, a group of young people in their teens, 20s and 30s, had high cholesterol.

By the end of a month on L-arginine, there was a 50 percent improvement in the functioning of their arteries. The hospital has now targeted a higher risk group: 40-year-olds with multiple risk factors but with no clinical disease, to see whether L-arginine improves survival rates on would-be coronary and angina patients. "This is a fantastic area of research and we are very excited by it", says Dr. Deanfield.

"In the past we have dealt with arterial disease patients using plumbing treatment." "That means either a bypass or angioplasty, which is a balloon blown up in the artery to get rid of the narrowing there. Now we are asking whether we can actually alter and manipulate the function the artery has as a strategy for protecting against the consequences of arterial disease." " In other words, you may have arterial disease but we want to modify its activity to reduce its risk."

To date, the benefits of healthy people with no risk factors taking L-arginine are unproved, and it will be left to pharmaceutical and neutraceutical companies to determine and recommend an adequate therapeutic daily dose for the amino acid over the next 12 months. Doctors at Great Ormond Street say they picked their 21 gram-a-day daily dose at random, and that a required dose to restore proper functioning of the lining of the arteries could well be half that amount.

The jury is still out on whether this dark, salty culinary sauce could be the elixir of life. Dr. Deanfield describes the paste they gave patients on the trial, sweetened to disguise the salty flavor, as "pretty foul". But Dr. Mike Mullen, research fellow in the Vascular Physiology Unit at Great Ormond Street, believes the amino acids sauce used by Mrs. Trump "has potential".

Dr. Mullen says: "It is essential that people have a well-balanced diet, and anyone on a low-protein or vegetarian diet may have a shortage of L-arginine, although nuts, such as walnuts and brazils, have high concentrations of it. The amino acids used to be divided into essential and nonessential amino acids. Essential amino acids were those the body couldn't make so you had to eat it to get sufficient amounts. "L-arginine used to be considered one of the nonessentials, but now people regard it as a semiessential, which is to say that you might be able to manufacture it in the body but it may not be reaching the places you want it to reach, so you probably need to take supplements as well."

Certainly the amino acid sauce Mrs. Trump uses is all but impossible to track down in this country. In exhaustive checks of top Health Food stores, many buyers said they knew of it but claimed either to have difficulty with the distributor or that the profit margin on a keenly priced item was too slim to make it worthwhile once freight and duty was taken into account.

Vincent Harford, a nutritionist at the Tony Quinn Health Centre in Dublin- the only supplier of Bragg Liquid Aminos to Britain, calls the sauce "delicious". He feels that if the goal is an isolated and concentrated dose of L-arginine, then you can obtain it in a more concentrated form from a supplement. But for a balanced amino acids preparation with L-arginine for those on the run who can't be bothered with supplements, then the soy sauce substitute may be just the ticket for vegetables, rice and as a salad dressing base.

And the last word from Mrs. Trump: "L-arginine is a wonderful alternative to soy sauce. It doesn't even have sodium in it, even though it tastes saltier than regular soy sauce." "If you find the taste too salty, you can mix it with distilled water in a spray dispenser, and spray it onto your food. I'm often busy and I feel that the Liquid Aminos is a delicious way of eating in a nutritional and healthy manner."




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