Nitric oxide (NO) is a simple molecule – just one atom of nitrogen and one of oxygen – but it plays some very important roles in the body. The discovery of NO’s role in cell communication won a 1998 Nobel Prize. I touched on the functions of NO in my June 11 article (#169) on the amino acid arginine. Here is more information on nitric oxide:
• NO lowers blood pressure by relaxing the smooth muscles of the endothelium (lining of the blood vessels) thus dilating the arteries. It also prevents or reverses arterial plaque, keeping the artery walls flexible.
• NO increases blood flow when partially blocked arteries to the heart cause angina pain (which is how nitroglycerine pills work).
• NO increases blood flow when partially blocked arteries to the leg muscles cause muscle pain called intermittent claudication.
• The increased circulation dramatically reduces nerve and joint inflammation, providing relief for arthritis sufferers and improves healing of wounds and diabetic foot ulcers.
• NO lowers cholesterol – a clinical trial found that increasing NO lowered triglycerides by 27% in 30 days, from an average 232 down to 168 (mg/dL).
• Insulin requires NO to function properly; low levels of NO result in insulin resistance which, as I’ve written on extensively in past articles, can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia and Type 2 Diabetes.
• Low NO levels are associated with depression; treatment with antidepressants increases NO.
• NO is essential for both short-term and long-term memory.
• NO is also essential for penile erection; a deficiency of NO is a common cause of erectile dysfunction in older men.
• As we age, NO production in our bodies decreases; most people over 40 don’t produce enough. A simple saliva test can tell you where your level is.
Until recently taking arginine has been the best way to increase NO, but a much more effective supplement called Neo40 is now available in Canada. For more information on NO and Neo-40 see www.neo40.ca and a book called “The Nitric Oxide (NO) Solution” by Nathan S Bryan and Janet Zand, 2010.
With all these functions of nitric oxide, and most of us over 40 having insufficient levels, Neo40 has tremendous potential for improving our health in many different ways. I’m excited to learn what it will do for me. How about you?
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.