All About Nitric Oxide

Many may believe that nitric oxide is nothing more than “laughing gas” given at the dentists office.  Other people associate it with the gas the race car drivers put in their cars to give them an extra boost of speed. However, in reality, nitric oxide is neither of those things.  It is a molecular compound made in our bodies.  Through signals transmitted through the body It allows for intercellular communication.
Nitric oxide has demonstrated importance in the cellular activities listed below:

  • All About Nitric Oxideassist the immune system at fighting off bacteria and defending against tumors
  • help behavior and memory by sending information within the brain
  • reduce inflammation
  • regulate blood pressure by dilating arteries
  • improve your recognition of various physical senses
  • improve sleep quality
  • assist in gastric motility
  • increase endurance and strength

However, if you have an existing heart condition or abnormal blood pressure, please consult your healthcare professional before taking supplements to increase nitric oxide levels.

Increasing the nitric oxide in your body

You can increase nitric oxide through exercise. Running and lifting weights, causes an increase in the amount of oxygen required by your muscles. The lining in your arteries releases nitric oxide into the blood as the heart pumps with increased pressure to provide the muscles with blood.  As we grow older, blood vessels and nitric oxide systems are less efficient because of free radical damage, inactivity, and poor diet, causing our blood vessels and arteries to break down.

All About Nitric OxideAnother natural option for to increasing nitric oxide is via diet. Arginine, can be found in fruits, nuts, dairy and meat; it makes nitric oxide and citrulline inside the cell. Citrulline is recycled back into arginine, making even more nitric oxide.

We can take care of these enzymes and nitric oxide by eating a healthy diet which includes antioxidants and allows you to make more nitric oxide. Nitric oxide lasts mere seconds in your body, so you need to provide more antioxidants to make it last longer.

Body Builders

Raising nitric oxide levels has become a tool for both bodybuilders and athletes.

Athletes often take supplements with L-arginine and L-citrulline to help the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles. They also use them to aid with the removal of lactic acid  which gets build up from exercise.

Erectile dysfunction 
Viagra and other impotence medications work due to their action on the nitric oxide pathway. One cause of impotence is unhealthy and aged arteries that feed blood to the sexual organs. Viagra works by influencing enzymes in the nitric oxide pathway, causing a cascade of enzymatic reactions that enhance nitric oxide, causing more blood flow and better erections.

Heart disease 
Nitric oxide has gotten the most attention due to its heart health benefits. Nitroglycerin acts by releasing nitric oxide which relaxes narrowed blood vessels, increasing oxygen and blood flow.The interior surface (endothelium) of your arteries produce nitric oxide. When plaque builds up in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, you reduce your capacity to produce nitric oxide, which is why physicians prescribe nitroglycerin for heart and stroke patients.