What Is Nitric Oxide?
Nitric oxide is a gas that is produced in the lining of every blood vessel of every tissue in your body. This gas relaxes arteries and allows oxygen into tissues. As it opens blood vessels, it lowers blood pressure. Other uses include modulation of pain and excitation of nerves. Sexual function relies heavily upon Nitric oxide production in both men and women. Many men have heard of Nitric oxide as it is the primary molecule responsible for erections. Medications like Viagra and Cialis work on an enzyme that prevents nitric oxide from breaking down, which allows for a fuller and longer-lasting erection.
Nitric oxide has been researched since the 1970’s. It won the Nobel Prize in 1998. Nitric oxide was the first gas ever to be identified as a signaling molecule. Nitric oxide is unstable and short-lived, so it must be continuously created. Growing research points to nitric oxide’s broad impact on health for all bodily systems.
Systems Affected by Nitric Oxide:
- Cardiovascular System
- Relaxing blood vessels (lowering blood pressure)
- Healthy circulating blood cells
- Heart Function
- Nutrient exchange
- Respiratory Tract
- Increasing blood flow through the lungs
- Relaxing airways (asthma)
- Musculoskeletal System
- Improved oxygenation of muscles
- Increased energy
- Higher levels of endurance
- Decrease lactic acid production
- Cellular Function
- Reducing cell death or turnover
- New blood vessel formation
- Immune System
- Regulates inflammation
- Improves infection fighting ability
- Nervous system
- Promotion of natural “rest state”
- Pain management
- Memory improvement
- Gastrointestinal Tract
- Enhanced metabolism
- Nutrient absorption
- Sexual Health
- Male Erection and Performance
- Female Excitement and Performance
“The discovery of N-O and its function is one of the most important in the history of cardiovascular medicine.”
—Dr. Valentin Fuster
1998 President of the American Heart Association
What are the symptoms of low nitric oxide?
Symptoms can be vague or very specific. Some symptoms include fatigue, less stamina, poor erections, loss of memory, irritability, high blood pressure, insomnia, decreased heart function, and asthma.
How do I improve my Nitric Oxide levels?
You can improve dietary intake of vegetables, including dark green leafy vegetables. You can check your methylation pathways (MTHFR) since they create necessary precursors for nitric oxide. You can avoid stomach acid reduces. You can also purchase supplements that boost nitric oxide like Neo40 and NOx Support.
How do I get tested for low nitric oxide?
Testing your nitric oxide requires a saliva sample. You just spit on a stick! You can find out your nitric oxide levels in less than 10 seconds. We test everyone that comes through our office.
Note that the most accurate sample is to be done in the morning before drinking, eating, or brushing your teeth.
Can I take L-arginine to boost my Nitric Oxide?
L-arginine is an essential precursor in Nitric oxide production; however, the conversion of nitric oxide from L-arginine requires many other cofactors along the way. It is more likely that L-methylfolate is preventing adequate nitric oxide production instead of L-arginine.