Getting the Blood Flowing to Diabetic Feet

Special cream improves circulation, study says

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Transdermal L-Arginine cream increased impaired blood flow in the feet of people with diabetes, says a study in the January issue of Diabetes Care.

The study found the cream improved circulation by 33 percent at the metatarsal and 35 percent at the Achilles. The cream increased temperature by 5 degrees at the metatarsal and by 8 degrees at the big toe.

L-Arginine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is the biochemical precursor of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide controls local blood flow by relaxing the smooth muscle lining of blood vessels. L-Arginine is classified as a dietary supplement and has long been available in oral form.

Impaired blood flow in the feet is a major cause of such diabetes-related complications as cold, painful feet and ulcers. This impaired blood flow can eventually lead to amputation. It's believed that restoring blood flow in the feet of people with diabetes may prevent ulcers and amputations. More research is required to confirm that.

More information

Here's where people with diabetes can learn more about how to take care of their feet and skin.

SOURCE: Strategic Science and Technology Inc., news release, January 2004
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