Nitric oxide is a critical signaling or messenger molecule. In fact, it is one of the components that will determine how long you are going to live. NO is linked to heart health and sexual health. Nitric oxide is critical to healthy blood flow to the brain, brain health, formation of new synapses in the brain, and protecting brain blood vessels from vascular damage.
It causes arteries and bronchioles to expand, allows brain cells to communicate with each other, and causes immune cells to kill bacteria and cancer cells. Nitric oxide production is important in protecting the heart, brain, liver, and other organs from low oxygen damage.
Nitric oxide expands the blood vessels, increases the blood flow, and decreases plaque formation and blood clotting.
However, when the body senses high toxic emotional stress, overwork, under-exercise, or smoking it releases less nitric oxide and then atherosclerosis begins to develop.
Penile erection also depends on the release of nitric oxide. Viagra and other drugs like it that reduce erectile dysfunction cause enzymatic reactions that increase Nitric Oxide.
Atherosclerosis and impotence are closely related. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of nitric oxide deficiency and correct them. Do NOT ignore Erectile Dysfunction – it is a sign of serious heart disease.
On the average, we lose 10 percent of our body’s ability to make nitric oxide for every decade of life. By the age of 40, studies show that we make 50% less Nitric oxide than we did as a teenager.
Being sedentary leads to less Nitric oxide production because your body is not stimulating its production; production is stimulated during exercise. Eating foods that are low in nitrates and nitrites also leads to decreased Nitric oxide production. Your body can only create Nitric oxide if it has the necessary precursors or building blocks. There are three isoforms of the NOS enzyme:
- Endothelial (eNOS): a signaling molecule that increases blood flow and artery health.
- Neuronal (nNOS): a signaling molecule that increases brain health
- Inducible (immune system) (iNOS): a signaling molecule which can be cytotoxic. Helpful during acute infection but extremely damaging to our blood vessels if it stays elevated. We use Nitric Balance to decrease this form and elevate eNOS and nNOS.
Another problem is the presence of fluoride. When fluoride is present, it converts nitric oxide into the toxic and destructive nitric acid. Nitric oxide will react with fluorine, chlorine and bromine to form nitrosyl halides, such as nitrosyl chloride which is harmful.
Accelerated aging, along with chemical and metabolic stresses damage eNOS. The resulting endothelial dysfunction creates a host of vascular disorders including diminished circulation of oxygen & nutrients, hypertension, and occlusive arterial disease.
Symptoms that may indicate low Nitric Oxide:
- Fatigue or low energy levels
- High Blood Pressure or decreased heart function esp. congestive heart failure
- Anxiety, irritability, or depression
- Insomnia & other sleep problems
- Loss of libido (sex drive) or Erectile Dysfunction (E.D.)
- Declining stamina
- Decreased workout potential or less energy at the gym
- Less stamina / endurance
- Declining Memory or Concentration
- Asthma or poor lung function
- Weakening bones – esp. osteopenia or osteoporosis
The depletion of nitric oxide also depletes endorphins and dopamine, which are the feel-good hormones in the limbic system. As a result, we become susceptible to Alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression, and dementia.
How do I get tested for Nitric oxide deficiency?
We use the simple and painless Nitric Oxide test in our office. This $10 test includes gathering saliva in your mouth, collecting the saliva (with your finger or a wooden tongue depressor), and placing it on the strip. It takes about 10 seconds for the results. The testing strip will indicate whether you are deficient, low, or normal.
Nitric Oxide testing is also useful for monitoring your levels over time. After 1 month of supplementation, it is important to be rested in order to ensure that your levels are back up to normal. Each person will require different amounts of dietary nitrates, supplements, and exercise. You should be sure to monitor your levels, especially if symptoms return or any of the signs mentioned above begin to occur (high blood pressure, poor heart function, erectile dysfunction, etc).
How do I increase my Nitric Oxide levels if my test shows they are low?
- Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) improves nitric oxide, blood flow, and energy in the brain is emerging as one of the most effective tools for cognitive enhancement.
- Take a Nitric oxide supplement such as Nitric Balance
- Exercise (Cardio or Fat Burning Exercise) & lose weight
- Increase dietary nitrates and nitrites
- Beets and dark green leafy vegetables, celery, kale, spinach, bok choy, leeks
- Avoid stomach acid reducers
- Decrease use of mouthwash which kills healthy mouth bacteria that make NO