If you’re interested in nitric oxide, chances are you either have a cardiovascular health concern or you’re looking to get more out of your workouts.
But what is nitric oxide?
Nitric oxide is a molecule the body produces to support cellular activity.
More than 60,000 studies have been conducted on what is nitric oxide and what nitric oxide does in the last 20 years and the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to three scientists in 1998 for discovering the signaling role nitric oxide plays within the body.
Nitric Oxide Production
In the Dec. 2011 issue of Nature Medicine, Judy Aschner, M.D. reported the enzyme ASL (argininosuccinate lyase) plays a pivotal role in nitric oxide production. The body also uses the amino acid arginine to produce nitric oxide.
By introducing more arginine into the body, the body is able to produce more nitric oxide.
What is Nitric Oxide’s Benefit for Your Cardiovascular Health
Nitric oxide is receiving the most attention as a result of the cardiovascular benefits it offers. When nitric oxide is produced, it helps to relax the blood vessels to help increase blood flow and oxygen.
The interior walls of the arteries produce nitric oxide but as plaque builds, the body struggles to produce sufficient nitric oxide. Nitroglycerin is often subscribed as a way to release additional nitric oxide for patients with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Amino acids like arginine and citrulline also aid nitric oxide production.
Additional Benefits of Nitric Oxide
Because nitric oxide production directly improves blood flow and increases oxygen within the body, it offers several benefits.
Nitric oxide is a key to a number of male enhancement supplements and medications. One cause of impotence is unhealthy arteries that fail to deliver enough blood to sexual organs.
Medications work by enhancing nitric oxide production to lead to more blood flow and better erections.
But men suffering with sexual health concerns are just a small number of people looking to boost nitric oxide. Athletes and bodybuilders are turning to nitric oxide to improve their workouts and increase endurance.
Atheltes often take the amino acids L-citrulline and L-arginine to support healthy nitric oxide production to increase blood flow and nutrient delivery to skeletal muscle.
Nitric oxide also facilitates the removal of excess exercise-induced lactic acid build up to improve recovery time and reduce fatigue.
What is Nitric Oxide’s Role
Nitric oxide plays an important role in a number of ways within the body. While the body produces nitric oxide naturally, supplementing with natural ingredients or taking a medication can help increase nitric oxide production.