Background/Aims: We aimed to discover if L-arginine and selenium alone or together can increase the effect of a hypocaloric diet enriched in legumes (HDEL) on central obesity and cardiovascular risk factors in women with central obesity. Methods: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was undertaken in 84 premenopausal women with central obesity. After a 2-week run-in period on an isocaloric diet, participants were randomly assigned to a control diet (HDEL), L-arginine (5 g/day) and HDEL, selenium (200 µg/day) and HDEL or L-arginine, selenium and HDEL for 6 weeks. Cardiovascular risk factors were assessed before intervention and 3 and 6 weeks afterwards. Results: After 6 weeks, L-arginine had significantly reduced waist circumference (WC); selenium had significantly lowered fasting concentrations of serum insulin and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance index; the interaction between L-arginine and selenium significantly reduced the fasting concentration of nitric oxides (NOx), and HDEL lowered triglycerides (TG) and WC and significantly increased the fasting concentration of NOx. HDEL reduced high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels in the first half of the study and returned them to basal levels in the second half. Conclusion: These data indicate the beneficial effects of L-arginine on central obesity, selenium on insulin resistance and HDEL on serum concentrations of NOx and TG.

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