Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACE Inhibitors)

Arginine —Possible Harmful Interaction Licorice —Possible Harmful Interaction Potassium —Possible Harmful Interaction St. John's Wort, Dong Quai —Possible Harmful Interaction Iron —Possible Benefits and Risks Zinc —Supplementation Possibly Helpful

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) block the conversion of a naturally occurring substance, angiotensin, to a more active form. These medications are widely used to treat hypertension as well as congestive heart failure and other conditions. Drugs in this category include

  • Benazepril hydrochloride (Lotensin, Lotrel) 
  • Captopril  (Capoten)
  • Enalapril maleate (Lexxel, Teczem, Vaseretic, Vasotec)
  • Fosinopril (Monopril)
  • Lisinopril (Prinivil, Prinzide, Zestril, Zestoretic)
  • Moexipril hydrochloride (Uniretic, Univasc)
  • Quinapril hydrochloride (Accupril)
  • Ramipril (Altace)
  • Trandolapril (Mavik, Tarka)
  • and others

ArginineArginine is an amino acid that has been used to improve immunity in hospitalized patients as well as for many other conditions. Based on experience with intravenous arginine, it is possible that the use of high-dose oral arginine might alter potassium levels in the body, especially in people with severe liver disease. 1 This is a potential concern for individuals who take ACE inhibitors.

LicoriceLicorice root, a member of the pea family, has been used since ancient times as both food and medicine. Whole licorice ( Glycyrrhiza glabra , or G. uralensis ) can cause sodium retention and increase blood pressure, thus counteracting the intended effects of ACE inhibitors. 3,4 An often unrecognized source of licorice is chewing tobacco. 5A special form of licorice known as DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) is a deliberately altered form of the herb that should not cause these problems.

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