We’ve covered the amazing benefits of arginine, as well as citrulline, and how combining the two can do wonderful things for your heart, but how about nitric oxide? What is nitric oxide? Why is it so crucial to heart health and cardiovascular wellbeing? Well, plainly speaking, without nitric oxide we’d probably all have blocked arteries and heart disease.
What is Nitric Oxide?
Nitric oxide is gas that is found naturally in the body. Its main function is to facilitate blood flow and circulation throughout the body, keeping oxygen flowing to extremities, dilating blood vessels, and keeping blood pressure controlled. When your arms, legs, or any other part of the body needs more blood supply for warm, movement, or wound healing, the brain signals the blood vessels in that area to release nitric oxide to increase circulation. It’s a crucial part of the human anatomy.
Why do Athletes Love Nitric Oxide?
Body builders and athletes understand the importance of nitric oxide to increase blood flow, oxygen delivery, glucose uptake, muscle velocity, muscle growth, and after-work out recovery. However, these body builders and athletes do not ingest nitric oxide; they use arginine supplements that facilitate the production of nitric oxide in the body.
Nitric Oxide and Heart Disease
“All of the major culprits in heart disease — overweight, lack of exercise, smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high levels of homocysteine and lipoprotein (a) — damage the endothelium. And a damaged endothelium doesn’t make enough NO, which results in more damage in an increasingly dangerous spiral.” (Readers Digest)
The endothelium is the lining of blood vessels. Damage to the lining of the blood vessels restricts the production on nitric oxide, which in turn restricts blood flow and increases plaque build-up.
Can Nitric Oxide be Replaced in the Body?
According to many researchers, nutritionists, and physicians, the simple answer to that question is yes.
“We can restore endothelial health and the lining of the vessel through exercise and nutrition,” Dr. John P. Cooke, head of Stanford University’s vascular unit, says. Certain nutritional supplements (like arginine) and drugs used to treat heart disease (like aspirin and statins) can also help.
Cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke can be prevented with exercise and a healthy diet. If you are in a high risk category, these conditions can also be prevented with supplements such as Cardio Juvenate.