Nitric Oxide (NO) is one of the most important molecules produced in the human body for several reasons. The most important reason is because a NO deficiency puts you at risk for every type of age-related and chronic degenerative disease.
So what is NO exactly?
Nitric oxide is a gas that is produced in the lining of every blood vessel of every tissue in your body. NO is a vasodilator and works by relaxing your arteries and allowing oxygen into your tissues. This causes your blood vessels to widen — which increases your blood flow and lowers blood pressure.
In other words, inadequate NO production results in a higher blood pressure. This is why it’s considered one of the most important molecules for blood vessel health.
But there’s a problem:
NO production is complex and relatively new, so you can’t go to your doctor and ask what your NO levels are. (There are some emerging tests that can give you a rough estimate of your NO production capability by measuring your endothelial function. But it can’t tell you WHY you are NO deficient, only that you are deficient.)
Since we can’t rely on testing, we must rely on symptoms of a NO deficiency. As we get older, our natural levels of NO production are diminished. But diminished NO production usually precedes structural changes by many years, even decades — making early detection important.
In this article, we’ll reveal the 7 most common warning signs that you’re NO deficient.
7 Warning Signs Of Low Nitric Oxide Production
1. Decreased blood flow
Decreased blood flow is usually one of the first warning signs of low NO production. A loss of blood flow is also a precursor to every age-related and chronic disease because it has a vascular component (related to your blood vessels).
A decrease in your blood flow manifests in sexual dysfunction. For men, this usually means erectile dysfunction. And vasculogenic female sexual dysfunction for women. This is because NO signals to your blood vessels to open up and regulate blood flow, which is needed for regular sexual function.
Sexual dysfunction also usually precedes an increase in blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, making this one of the first signs your body isn’t producing NO.
2. High blood pressure or hypertension
NO is a vasodilator and regulates your blood pressure levels. Since roughly 50% of Americans are being treated for high blood pressure, understanding NO as a possible way to prevent high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes — which are the number one killer of both men and women worldwide — is important.
A 2019 study published in PubMed Central® suggested that interventions targeting the NO pathway in animals look promising at preventing the development of hypertension (high blood pressure) and kidney disease. But more clinical studies are needed to confirm this effect on humans.
3. Memory loss
Even degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia have a vascular component because they reduce blood flow to your prefrontal cortex. The Indian Journal of Medical Research reportedly found that NO may play a prominent role in the treatment of age-related degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). A later study found that loss of endothelial NO may be an important contributor to the pathogenesis of sporadic AD.
Further, a 2017 study suggests cardiovascular disease and its risk factors in midlife is associated with an increased risk of later life cognitive impairment and dementia. And concluded that the NO pathway looks promising for reducing both cardiovascular disease and risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
4. Chronic fatigue
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Women's Health analyzed differences in blood nitrate (a precursor to NO) levels in patients with chronic fatigue and matched it with a control group after a physical exercise test. They concluded that NO levels had a bigger increase in the chronic fatigue group compared to the control group, suggesting that an NO deficiency could be behind chronic fatigue.
5. Insomnia and sleep issues
In 2006, the Journal of Neurochemistry studied the impact of NO in sleep deprived rats and concluded that NO was a powerful sleep‐facilitating agent. It also provided strong evidence that NO is necessary for recovery sleep. So insomnia and other sleep problems could be the result of low NO production.
A 2004 study in Biological Psychiatry investigated the link between major depression (MD) and NO production. MD is often associated with an increased cardiovascular mortality in patients with coronary heart disease. And decreased NO production has been associated with several cardiovascular risk factors. They found that both plasma NOx and platelet eNOS activity were significantly lower in subjects with MD compared to the control group, suggesting depressive disorders could be a warning sign of low NO production.
7. Reduced exercise stamina and endurance
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology looked at the relation between NO production and exercise efficiency and exercise tolerance in healthy humans. They found that NO bioavailability appears to improve exercise efficiency, exercise tolerance, and increased the time to task failure during severe-intensity exercise in healthy humans. So if you’re getting winded faster during workouts or it takes your body longer to recover, you could be suffering from low NO production.
If you suffer from any of these warning signs, supplementing with nitric oxide could restore your health and prevent more serious issues later in life.
If you need a nitric oxide supplement, we have two options available.
Nitric Oxide Booster is a capsule formulation full of natural ingredients that help boost your nitric oxide levels, improving blood flow, normalizing blood pressure, and keeping your heart healthy.
Beets are one of the richest foods in dietary nitrates, which your body converts into nitric oxide. This powder is also jam-packed with essential amino acids which support increased blood flow, healthy blood pressure, reduced muscle fatigue, and boosts stamina.