L-arginine supplementation enhances exhaled NO, breath condensate VEGF, and headache at 4342 m

Jim K. Mansoor, Brian M Morrissey, William F. Walby, Ken Y Yoneda, Maya Juarez, Radhika Kajekar, John W. Severinghaus, Marlowe W. Eldridge, Edward S Schelegle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We examined the effect of dietary supplementation with L-arginine on breath condensate VEGF, exhaled nitric oxide (NO), plasma erythropoietin, symptoms of acute mountain sickness, and respiratory related sensations at 4342 m through the course of 24 h in seven healthy male subjects. Serum L-arginine levels increased in treated subjects at time 0, 8, and 24 h compared with placebo, indicating the effectiveness of our treatment. L-arginine had no significant effect on overall Lake Louise scores compared with placebo. However, there was a significant increase in headache within the L-arginine treatment group at 12 h compared with time 0, a change not seen in the placebo condition between these two time points. There was a trend (p = 0.087) toward greater exhaled NO and significant increases in breath condensate VEGF with L-arginine treatment, but no L-arginine effect on serum EPO. These results suggest that L-arginine supplementation increases HIF-1 stabilization in the lung, possibly through a NO-dependent pathway. In total, our observations indicate that L-arginine supplementation is not beneficial in the prophylactic treatment of AMS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-300
Number of pages12
JournalHigh Altitude Medicine and Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Altitude
  • EPO
  • HIF-1
  • Hypoxia
  • Lake Louise scores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Physiology
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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