Study finds popular muscle-boosting supplement does not increase blood flow

A Baylor University study has found that a popular nutritional supplement that is marketed to lead to greater muscle strength through increasing blood flow to the muscle does not increase blood flow as claimed on the bottle.

In recent years, various nutritional supplements have been developed containing arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG), which is alleged to increase nitric oxide production thereby resulting in "vasodilation," the widening of blood vessels and increased blood flow to the muscles. The AAKG supplement-enhanced blood flow to working muscles during resistance exercise is alleged to provide increased than just exercise alone.

The Baylor researchers studied the effects in 24 men of seven days of AAKG supplementation using the NO2 PlatinumTM on arterial blood flow in the arms after a single bout of resistance exercise. The results showed that seven days of AAKG supplementation had no significant impact on blood movement or increased brachial artery blood flow in response to a single bout of resistance exercise.

"We did see a slight increase in blood flow but those effects can only be attributed to the resistance exercise and not to the supplement," said study author Dr. Darryn Willoughby, associate professor of exercise, nutritional biochemistry and at Baylor. "The data appear to refute the alleged supposition and manufacturer's claims that 'vasodilating supplements' are effective at causing vasodilation, thereby resulting in increased blood flow to active during resistance exercise. Furthermore, we specifically demonstrated that a single bout of increases vasodilation, arterial blood flow and circulating nitric oxide levels, but that the AAKG supplement provided no additive, preferential response compared to a placebo."

The study appears in the August edition of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Exercise pivotal in preventing and fighting type II diabetes

Feb 07, 2007

One in three American children born in 2000 will develop type II diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A new study at the University of Missouri-Columbia says that acute exercise ...

Step out for PAD

Dec 15, 2008

You probably know that poor diet and lack of exercise can lead to dangerous deposits of fatty plaques in arteries. But it is not just the heart that is affected – blood flow can be blocked to the legs too, leading to pain ...

Recommended for you

Doctor behind 'free radical' aging theory dies

Nov 25, 2014

Dr. Denham Harman, a renowned scientist who developed the most widely accepted theory on aging that's now used to study cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses, has died in Nebraska at age 98.

Mexican boy who had massive tumor recovering

Nov 25, 2014

An 11-year-old Mexican boy who had pieces of a massive tumor removed and who drew international attention after U.S. officials helped him get treatment in the southwestern U.S. state of New Mexico is still recovering after ...

New medical device to make the mines safer

Nov 21, 2014

Dehydration can be a serious health issue for Australia's mining industry, but a new product to be developed with input from Flinders University's Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) is set to more effectively ...

US family gets $6.75 million in Botox case

Nov 20, 2014

A New York couple who said Botox treatment of their son's cerebral palsy left him with life-threatening complications and sued its manufacturer won a $6.75 million verdict from a federal jury on Thursday.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Mauricio
not rated yet Aug 10, 2011
There are supplements that are effective. They should try to do the same with citrulline malate.

If it turns out that no supplement does it, then there would be a mystery on how come bodybuilders can produce that level of vascularity. That was not possible during the 70s and early 80s..... Bodybuilders covered in veins are a "new thing".

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.