Both arginine, an amino acid, and niacin, a B vitamin, may help lower your cholesterol. Foods containing arginine include soy proteins, milk, meats, walnuts and eggs. Foods containing niacin include animals and plants. You also can get both arginine and niacin from stand-alone supplements. Before starting a supplement or changing your diet, talk to your doctor for advice.
Arginine promotes quality blood circulation in your body. It helps break down plaque and restore normal blood flow in your arteries. Reduction of cholesterol in your body occurs because of this amino acid. You may feel increased energy because your oxygen circulation increases when you ingest this non-essential amino acid.
Arginine Side Effects
Taken as a supplement, arginine may induce such side effects as diarrhea and nausea. You may feel queasy and experience loose stools with accompanying abdominal cramps. If these side effects do not go away as your body adjusts to the supplement, call your doctor. Stop taking the supplement if you experience continued side effects.
Niacin benefits include the lowering of your bad cholesterol, known as low-density lipoproteins. Your risk of stroke and heart attack decrease with the use of niacin. When plaque builds up in your arteries, your blood flow decreases, causing hypertension and an increased risk for heart disease.
Niacin Side Effects
Niacin side effects include dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, stomach upset and flushing of your skin. You may feel as if the room is spinning. Resting will help this side effect go away. If your stomach feels upset, take niacin with your meals. Eating food with this supplement may help prevent this side effect. If side effects continue, stop taking the supplement and call your physician for help.