An arginine-based cream can increase blood circulation in the feet of diabetics. Cold feet and toes are a major problem for diabetics. Research has shown that circulatory problems in diabetes patients are caused by a lack of nitric oxide (NO). NO causes vascular smooth muscle to relax resulting in increased blood flow. Nitric oxide is synthesized in the endothelium (the inner lining of blood vessels) through the oxidation of l-arginine by the enzyme eNOS. American researchers have discovered that applying an l-arginine-based moisturizing cream to the feet can markedly increase the blood flow and temperature in both the feet and toes. The cream contains 12.5% l- arginine as well as high concentrations of choline chloride, sodium chloride, and magnesium chloride. The cream was tested on 13 patients with diabetes and was found to be quite effective. The patients applied the cream morning and evening. After 3 weeks the temperature at the ball of the foot (metatarsal area) had increased from an average 82 degrees F (27.8 degrees C) to an average 87 degrees F (30.6 degrees C). The blood flow in the metatarsal area increased by 33% after 5 weeks of treatment. The researchers conclude that the use of the cream significantly improved both blood flow and temperature and that the effect was surprisingly long lasting.
Fossel, ET. Improvement of temperature and flow in feet of subjects with diabetes with use of a transdermal preparation of l-arginine. Diabetes Care, Vol. 27, January 2004, pp. 284-85