All You Need To Know About Nitric Oxide

For discovering the signaling ability of nitric oxide in the cardiovascular system, three scientists bagged the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1998. Deficiencies, whether caused by advancement in age or various medical conditions, cause debilitation of different body functions and significantly affect the quality of life. Here are more things you need to know about nitric oxide.

What is Nitric Oxide?

One of the several oxides of nitrogen, nitric oxide is a colorless gas with the chemical formula NO. It is also known as nitrogen monoxide or nitrogen oxide. It is a molecule produced by your body to improve transmission of signals between cells.

It is generated by all your body tissues, muscles, and organs. It commands your arteries to relax, a procedure that increases oxygen in the tissues due to improved blood flow. By dilating the arteries, it lowers blood pressure.

L-Citrulline and L-Arginine Processes of Nitric Oxide

When you consume foods that create nitric oxide’s amino acid L-Arginine, it produces L-Citrulline and nitric oxide. Amino acids form building blocks of proteins. L-Citrulline converts into L-Arginine that produces more nitric oxide for the body. For the efficiency of this cyclic process, the body needs enzymes.

Once created, nitric oxide lasts a very short time – regardless of it occurring in large quantities in the body. Your body must be in top condition to consistently produce enzymes and to replenish nitric oxide. For this to happen, you must eat healthy and consume sufficient antioxidants to protect enzymes and stabilize the nitric oxide production process.

What Does Nitric Oxide Do?

Body functions depend on cellular activities and transmission of information between the cells for overall coordination. Nitric oxide benefits include:

  • It reduces inflammation. In premature babies, it prevents inflammation of the digestive tract
  • It has cardiovascular benefits – it dilates arteries to regulate blood pressure
  • It alleviates sleep disorders
  • It builds stamina, especially for athletes. It also reduces production of lactic acid
  • It strengthens the immune system to enable it to fight tumors
  • It keeps off bacterial infections
  • It reduces death of cells
  • Relaxes airways in management of asthma
  • Enhances pain management
  • Enhances formation of new blood vessels
  • Improves the sense of smell
  • Increases enzymatic reactions in blood vessels to cure impotence
  • Promotes release of insulin
  • Controls leg pain caused by poor circulation
  • Reduces angina
  • When used together with ribonucleic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, it hastens recovery after surgery
  • It is the chemical that causes erections hence it is used in aphrodisiacs to eliminate erectile dysfunction

Causes of Nitric Oxide Deficiency

At around the age of 50, a female has only 35% nitric oxide production efficiency. As the years go by, and depending on your lifestyle choices, you may find yourself lacking sufficient nitric oxide levels for the following reasons:

  • Sedentary lifestyle characterized by minimal physical activity
  • Effects of high cholesterol diets
  • Smoking
  • Aging
  • Fatty foods
  • Stress
  • Low nitrites or nitrates diets
  • Mouthwash – it destroys bacteria that produce Nitric oxide
  • Antacids

Nitric Oxide Side Effects

Some physiological conditions, illnesses, and allergies could cause adverse effects if you decide to start L-Arginine therapy without sufficient medical tests. Take the drugs with caution in the following cases:

  • If you suffer from cirrhosis
  • If they cause herpes to advance faster
  • If they cause an allergic reaction and increase inflammation of airways caused by asthma and respiratory allergies
  • If you are slotted for surgery. Suspend the therapy
  • If you suffer from Guanidinoacetate methyltransferase deficiency, an inherited condition that inhibits conversion of Arginine to creatine
  • If you suffer from low blood pressure since Arginine lowers blood pressure further
  • If you have kidney disease. Arginine raises potassium levels which may induce an irregular heartbeat

Nitric oxide can be fatal when taken in high doses by children. Its effect in pregnancy is not clearly documented, but expectant mothers are advised to limit its intake.

The above side effects can also appear as symptoms, therefore be keen and see a doctor if you experience the following while taking nitric oxide drugs:

  • Profuse sweating
  • Confusion
  • Unexplained fatigue or weakness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Blurred vision

Signs of Nitric Oxide Deficiency

Symptoms of deficiency are rather common and you could fail to recognize them since they seem similar to those of other illnesses. Additionally, the deficiency may have occurred over an extended period, and you may assume that it’s the usual state of your body. You may also assume your lack of energy is due to advancing age.

A saliva test or breathing test is apt for confirming nitric oxide levels. Be wary if you experience any of the following health challenges:

  • Poor concentration and low memory
  • Less energy during body workouts
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased libido
  • Irritability, anxiety, or depression
  • Hypertension
  • Poor sleep
  • Thinning bones
  • Symptoms of heart disease
  • Asthma

How to Enhance Levels of Nitric Oxide in Your Body

Since you now know the importance of this nitrogen compound, do the following to increase and sustain its levels in your body:

  • Take a prescribed nitric oxide supplement
  • Lose some weight
  • Perform fat burning or cardio exercises
  • Avoid medications that reduce stomach acid
  • Consume dark green leafy vegetables and beets
  • Reduce mouthwash usage
  • Get some sun
  • Eat dark chocolate
  • Drink pomegranate juice

When to Go For Nitric Oxide Therapy   

Nitric oxide therapy could change the course of your life. If you have a deficiency, begin by going for tests to rule out underlying medical and physiological conditions. If you feel you might have a nitric issue, do not  try and fix this on your own.

Consult a professional for advice on how to improve nitric oxide levels in your body.

Additionally, if you notice side effects which you feel concerned about while taking nitric oxide drugs, ensure you see a doctor to assist you in their reduction. Often, the side effects disappear on their own. When getting drugs, ensure you get them from a certified or verified source.

Author: Esateys Stuchiner

Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.

Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.

Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.

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