Our body’s production of Taurine and L-Arginine decline with age. Considered “conditional” nutrients when we are young, as we age Taurine and L-Argenine may become “essential” nutrients to prevent morbidity and mortality.
Cardiac arrhythmias like A-Fib with no known cause (Lone A-Fib) may actually result from deficiencies of Taurine and L-Argenine.
Researchers at George Eby Research Institute searched for nutrient deficiencies that could cause irregular heartbeats such as PACs and PVCs and atrial fibrillation. They found a wealth of literature supporting the amino acids taurine and arginine as common nutrients deficient in people with irregular heartbeats.
The researchers studied case histories of people with very frequent irregular heartbeats and found that adding 10-20g of Taurine/day reduced PACs by 50% and prevented all PVCs―but didn’t prevent pauses.
Adding 4-6g of L-Argenine immediately terminated the remaining pauses and PACs. Continuing this treatment maintained normal sinus rhythm.
The authors of this study hypothesized that cardiac arrhythmias like A-Fib with no known cause (Lone A-Fib) may actually result from deficiencies of Taurine and L-Argenine.
How Taurine Works
Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid and is the most important and abundant amino acid in the heart. Taurine is found in large amounts in the brain, retina, heart, and blood cells called platelets. Taurine is found in eggs, fish, meat, and milk, but not in vegetable proteins.
Hypotheses of how Taurine reduces arrhythmias:
• Regulates potassium, calcium and sodium levels in blood and tissue
• Regulates the excitability of the myocardium
• Protects against free radical damage
• Dampens the activity of the sympathetic nervous system
• Dampens epinephrine release
• Restores energy and endurance
How L-Arginine Works
L-arginine (or Arginine) is one of the 20 most common natural amino acids. It is necessary for the body to make proteins. Foods that provide good amounts of L-arginine include carob, coconut, dairy products, gelatin, meat, oats, peanuts, soybeans, walnuts, wheat, and wheat germ. Chocolate craving may be a sign that arginine levels are low.
Hypotheses of how L-Argenine reduces arrhythmias:
• Works as a nitric oxide (NO) precursor which may have antiarrhythmic properties
• Restores sinus rhythm spontaneously
• NO stabilization of the sinus node thereby preventing cardiac arrhythmias
Don’t Try This at Home
Caution: The dosage of Taurine referenced in this study is a heavy dosage (10-20g of Taurine/day) requiring 10-20 pills a day. I think this dosage is too much and have heard that such a high level of Taurine can cause palpitations and high blood pressure. (But I’m still looking for studies that document this. Email me if you find related research.)
The Take-Away: As we age, our levels of Taurine and L-arginine naturally decline and at the same time become “essential nutrients” for maintaining good cardiovascular health. If you experience PACs and PVCs, try supplementing your intake of Taurine and L-arginine. To learn about the supplement Taurine, read my article ‘Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart.
4. “Is Atrial Fibrillation different from what doctors call Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia?”
‘Supraventricular’ refers to the upper part of the heart, the atria. “Tachycardia” means the upper part of your heart is beating faster than normal. “Paroxysmal” means occasional.
“Supraventricular Tachycardia” in clinical practice commonly refers to atrial tachycardia, atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT). Atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia (AVRT), an entity that includes Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. While Atrial Fibrillation is a distinct entity classified separately.
The term “Supraventricular Arrhythmia” most often is used to refer to Supraventricular Tachycardias and Atrial Flutter. In practice, “Supraventricular Tachycardia” is often used loosely to include all arrhythmias in the Atria, including A-Fib.
Thanks to Sol Yuyitung for this question.