Nitric Oxide: The Magical Molecule

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on February 20th, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes
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Nitric Oxide: The Magical Molecule

Blood flow. When your blood flows smoothly, every tissue, muscle, and organ in your body functions flawlessly. But when your blood does not flow ideally, problems develop like:

  • Poor circulation
  • Diminished energy and chronic fatigue
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Pale skin tone
  • Loss of hair
  • Numbness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Swelling
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Brain fog

These are problems that no one in their right mind wants or needs.

What causes poor circulation?

There are several causes of poor circulation:

  • Narrowed blood vessels
  • Plaque accumulation
  • Blood clots
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Poor nutrition
  • And the number one cause is AGING!

Think about this. An incredible 60,000 miles of arteries, veins, and capillaries in our bodies transport nutrients and oxygen via the blood to feed our organs and tissues. Over time, many or all of the above-listed causes of poor circulation appear...and these developments set off a cascade of trouble.

The crucial role of Nitric Oxide

Nitric Oxide (N-O) is a gas molecule found inside the endothelial, the sensitive inner lining of our blood vessels. N-O cannot be stored for later use. When it is needed, it is needed now and must be produced.

N-O is often called a “signaling molecule” since it commands the blood vessels to open their gates and send the blood on its vital, life-saving mission. Without sufficient nitric oxide levels, our blood vessels would collapse, starving our tissues and organs and, eventually, our demise.

Here’s the problem. As we age, our nitric oxide products plummet dramatically. Research has found that our N-O levels begin to drop by as much as half as we reach 40...2/3rds by our 50s...and when we hit our 60s and older, N-O craters by an astonishing 85%...with devastating consequences!

For most folks, these symptoms of poor circulation begin to creep up around age 40. This coincides precisely with the loss of N-O.

The formula is simple: loss of N-O = less blood flowing to our tissues and organs. When that happens, the stage is set for an entire parade of the above adverse health afflictions. This is why focusing on individual body parts, while important, is not the key to staying healthy. The ultimate path to good health is keeping that blood flowing.

Also, consider this. More folks visit their physician for blood pressure issues than any other health affliction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 70 million American adults suffer from high blood pressure, resulting in approximately 700,000 deaths annually.

High blood pressure can damage the arteries, mostly the endothelial. Once that happens, the arteries become inflamed, thicken, and interfere with their ability to produce nitric oxide, elevating blood pressure...a vicious cycle.

The good news? You can break this cycle by boosting your nitric oxide levels.

So, what to do about this loss?

The good news is you are not helpless! This loss of precious nitric oxide can be slowed and even stopped entirely with a few different approaches.

We know that exercise is crucial. Getting off the recliner and going to the gym or stepping outside for a brisk walk, a run, or a bike ride is step one to get the heart pumping fresh blood through the blood vessels and boosting the health of the endothelial.

Also, the ancient cliché “we are what we eat” is true. Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, arugula, and beets are jammed-packed with natural nitrates, delivering a much-needed lift for N-O production.

But most people don’t get sufficient exercise or consume enough greens. So, that leaves nutritional supplements to fill the gap. Here are a few suggestions of substances you might consider adding to your diet:

  • L-Arginine. L-Arginine is a crucial amino acid that is responsible for nearly 70% of the N-O produced in the endothelial. This signals the arteries to relax and expand, thus removing the roadblock for N-O. However, there is an issue with only relying on L-Arginine for N-O production: it is grabbed and broken down in the intestines and liver and then gobbled by the large organ and other body parts before it can get to the endothelial. This means that in addition to L-Arginine, there are more nutrients needed.
  • L-Citrulline. L-Cirtulline is another amino acid that works like a tag-team with L-Arginine. Like L-Arginine, L-Citrulline is broken down by the body and converted to L-Arginine. But here’s the deal...unlike L-Arginine, L-Citrulline is not metabolized until after it travels through the intestines and the liver! This gives this fresh, newly-minted L-Arginine the ability to bypass the organs and go directly to the endothelial. This is a world-class tag team, for sure!
  • Beet Root. In one study, the subjects drank 500 mL of beetroot juice and reduced their blood pressure by 10mm HG (Systolic) and 8 mm HG (diastolic) within 3 hours! This stops endothelial dysfunction and gives the green light to blood flow and N-O production.
  • Resveratrol. This incredible nutrient is responsible for “The French Paradox” that explains how the French people eat high-fat diets and stay healthy...they drank red wine, which delivers resveratrol. Resveratrol acts as a vasodilator that opens and relaxes blood vessels.

Blood has been called the “river of life,” which is true. Without adequate blood flow, every life-saving process in the body is impaired. Nitric oxide – that’s the ticket! N-O blasts through the walls in every square inch of the body and rushes a torrent of blood to exactly where it is needed.

Stop fretting about your loss of energy...brain fog...joint aches...and every other symptom of the arrival of “Old-man Aging,”...and do something about it!

Reference

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22260513/

 

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