Our bodies produce nitric oxide as a molecule that helps the trillions of cells in it to communicate with each other. This molecule is important as it improves behavior and memory by allowing nerve cells in the brain to exchange information. Nitric oxide also helps the immune system to fight bacteria and defend the body against the formation of tumors. It has a role in dilating arteries and regulating blood pressure while it helps in the reduction of inflammation and to improve the quality of sleep. Endurance and strength are increased as are sensory capabilities. Nitric oxide can also help in gastric motility.
Nitric oxide has received a lot of attention because of the cardiovascular benefits that it brings. It relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow and oxygen. Nitroglycerin is prescribed by almost all doctors for patients suffering from strokes or other heart problems. This ability to increase blood flows has also seen it being considered a factor in erectile dysfunction, which is largely a result of inadequate blood flow to the penile organ. In fact, any health issue that is a result of reduced blood flow will be helped with an increase in nitric oxide produced by the body or by supplements taken to do so.
Low level of nitric oxide in the body is often a result of genetic factors, poor health or can be a combination of the two along with age. Simple attention to deep breathing and meditation been known to raise the level of this molecule, while exercise has always been able to do, probably because of faster heart beats that increase blood flow. The consumption of nitrate-rich food can boost the levels of nitric oxide in the body. Kale and spinach are examples of such food. When you eat this nitrate-rich food, the bacteria present in the tongue converts the nitrates into nitritine. The bacteria in the digestive system then convert this nitritine into the desired molecule nitric oxide. Sunlight on the skin has also been known to increase the natural production of this molecule by the body. Certain chemicals in French maritime pine bark, onions, parsley and the skin of grapes can also increase nitric oxide in the body.
Aging or illness can often result in the decrease of blood flow in a body. Blood flow is also affected by diseases, and this reduces the ability of the body to produce nitric oxide. It, in turn, reduces blood flow and makes all organs and muscles weaker and makes them more susceptible to damage or disease. Taking this molecule in the form of supplements has helped in almost all cases to lead a person to better health. This oxide also strengthens muscles. The oxide is a chemical transmitter that can contribute to increasing blood flow through the whole body. Muscles that have an improved blood supply get more nutrients and oxygen from the blood, which in turn helps them to increase their strength. It is the reason that nitric oxide supplements are used by many people who are into exercising and body building.
Exercise is the most common way of increasing the level of nitric oxide in a body. The exertion of exercising, running or lifting of weights requires the muscles to have more oxygen, and this can come from the oxygen in the blood. The heart pumps more blood when you exert yourself, and this causes the lining in the blood vessels to release more nitric oxide. The added oxide results in the blood vessels further relaxing and permitting a greater flow of blood. Age can diminish the functioning of this nitric oxide production system. Free radicals and inactivity can also cause a deterioration of veins and arteries that then create a shortage of this molecule. The most efficient systems for the production of nitric oxide are found in young people and athletes or those who consistently exercise.
Dietary changes can also help the production of nitric oxide especially those that contain amino acids. Fruit, garlic, soy, nuts, and meats can contribute to protecting the enzymes that are required for the conversion of these amino acids into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide lasts in the body for only a few seconds, and that is the reason antioxidant protection is a must for good health. This ability of the molecule to open up blood vessels is used by doctors who use coated stents that help open up arteries in heart operations.
Nitric oxide supplements are being increasingly used by bodybuilders and athletes to help support the flow of oxygen and blood to the muscle. These supplements also remove the lactic acid that does build up in muscles that have undergone exercise. Fatigue is then reduced and recovery times become shorter. There is, however, no substitute for eating the right food and having a lifestyle that includes a regime of exercises on a regular basis.