In 1998, Ferid Murad, Robert Furchgott, and Louis Ignarro, three American scientists, were awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering an important function of nitric oxide, a messenger in the cardiovascular system. This pioneering work opened the door to lots of subsequent studies as more people become interested in the benefits of nitric oxide. In addition to this discovery, the three scientists had also found out that nitric oxide was produced in the endothelium.
How Is Nitric Oxide Made?
Nitric oxide is produced naturally by the body system through the conversion of an amino acid, L-arginine, a process mediated by nitric oxide synthase enzyme. The production of nitric oxide is at the highest in individuals between the age of 35 and 40 after which the production declines. A deficiency of nitric oxide due to age, disease or nutritional imbalance necessitates the need for external boosting through nitric oxide supplements.
Nitric oxide boosters rich in L-citrulline are preferred to those rich in L-arginine because L-citrulline follows a pathway that avoids the liver. L-arginine, on the other hand, passes through the liver where it is broken down by enzyme arginase into urea. This makes it ineffective as a direct source of nitric oxide. In the kidneys where L-citrulline ends up, a chemical conversion takes place where it is metabolized into L-arginine in a safe environment. Nitric oxide is produced in the endothelial cells along the arterial walls.
Does Nitric Oxide Work?
Over twenty years of studies where more than 60,000 researches were conducted, several findings have been made relating to how nitric oxide works. Below are some of the functions of nitric oxide in the body.
Vasodilation – Nitric oxide causes arteries to dilate hence allowing huge amounts of blood to flow through them. This is particularly important because blood contains nutrients and oxygen that is delivered to the body tissues. On its way back to the heart, the deoxygenated blood picks up toxic cellular waste for excretion.
Reduction in Stickiness of Platelets – Platelets are essential for initiating the clotting process. However, when they become more sticky, blood clotting occurs frequently, and this can result into stroke, heart attack and clotting in the pelvis thus interfering with the excretion system.
Reduction in Stickiness of Monocytes – Monocytes refer to defense or scavenger cells that pick up debris from injured vessels and LDL cholesterol that is oxidized and insoluble in blood. When monocytes become sticky, they can attach themselves to the lining of blood vessels and hence enter the blood vessel wall. This forms plaque which ultimately blocks the arteries.
Suppression of LDL Cholesterol Oxidation – Oxidized cholesterol drops out of the bloodstream as a solid substance after which it is picked up by monocytes. This process can cause plaque formation.
Health Benefits of Nitric Oxide
There are several conditions that nitric oxide helps in reducing, reversing or eliminating. Some of these conditions include:
Dementia / Alzheimer’s / Parkinson’s – In the brain, nitric oxide is produced through the neuro-nitric oxide synthase. This helps in boosting neurotransmitter signaling and cell communication which improve memory and enhance blood circulation.
Diabetes – By enhancing glucose uptake into cells, as well as insulin secretion and signaling, , nitric oxide helps in averting diabetes. Through nitric oxide supplements, the blood vessels that would have otherwise been constricted are dilated thus giving them an opportunity to carry as much blood to the tissues.
Hypertension – The circulatory system is a strategic mechanism that ensures the wellness of the entire body. Nitric oxide helps in relaxing the smooth muscles of the heart and the walls of the blood vessels thereby giving them flexibility to handle upsurges in blood flow. This lowers the risk of hypertension.
Other conditions that nitric oxide helps in reversing include erectile dysfunction, loss of visual acuity, insomnia, and chronic kidney diseases.
Key Ingredients in Nitric Oxide Supplements
There are various types of ingredients that are instrumental in ensuring that nitric oxide boosters work efficiently. These are:
L-Citrulline – An amino acid found in watermelons. It is the precursor to L-arginine, very effective as a supplement and does not have any side effects. It is suitable for people of all age groups.
Hawthorn Extract – This ingredient from the rose family helps in treating the hardening of arteries, reduces levels of bad cholesterol, and helps in maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
Vinpocetine – This is a seed extract that help in improving the cognitive ability of your brain as well as boosting cardiovascular functions.
Based on the information gathered from this nitric oxide supplements review, you can comfortably consider purchasing nitric oxide boosters.