There is an often underrated molecule in our bodies that is so critical, we can’t live without it. It affects every bodily system and directly links to the delivery of blood throughout the body.
This amazing molecule is called nitric oxide, and its production in our body is a complex synthesis that requires a combination of essential amino acids.
When we are young, most of us produce enough nitric oxide to give our hearts, lungs, brains, and muscles all the energy they need.
As we age, we can become less adept at creating this critical molecule, and our bodies suffer because of it. Our bodies’ nitric oxide levels affect the quality of our lives so much that we should not underestimate its importance.
To ensure you are successfully maintaining healthy nitric oxide production in your body, you need to understand how it happens and the steps you can take to support its production.
Read on for all the benefits and information backed by science on this unique molecule. We’ll also discuss the best nitric oxide booster you can take to solidify a healthy production of it in your body.
How We Produce Nitric Oxide
Our body’s production of nitric oxide occurs equally through two separate pathways. If one of these pathways begins to diminish, the other will pick up the slack.
It’s when both pathways aren’t functioning correctly that our bodies start to feel the adverse effects of low nitric oxide levels. Understanding the process needed for NO production can help us to take action to ensure that our pathways are maintained.
This pathway is called the Nitric Oxide Synthase or NOS pathway. The process involves converting L-arginine into NO by the endothelial cells that line the inside of our blood vessels.
As we age, this pathway slowly diminishes. We can help to combat some of that loss through regular exercise and a healthy diet. One habit that can really put a dent in our NOS pathway is smoking.
The nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway is the second pathway in which our bodies produce nitric oxide. This pathway converts nitrates into NO by a bacteria in our mouth.
Of course, to keep this pathway healthy, we need to be eating foods high in nitrates and keep our mouths healthy for oral bacteria to be present.
Poor oral hygiene or regular use of antiseptic mouthwash can diminish pathway two by killing the bacteria necessary to convert nitrates into nitric oxide.
Nitric Oxide Synthases
Three different types of enzymes or synthases are responsible for aiding nitric oxide production in our bodies.
Specific triggers our bodies encounter will boost these synthases into action. Depending on the need, one of these three will go to work to provide nitric oxide for the body in a specific location.
eNOS- Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase
Also known as NO3, this synthase brings nitric oxide to our vessels to help with endothelial function. This synthase is responsible for vasodilation (the widening of blood vessels) and all of the benefits that come with it.
nNOS- Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase
This synthase (NOS1) is located in the central nervous system and is responsible for the nitric oxide production in the nervous tissues and skeletal muscles. This helps with cell communication and regulation of other smooth muscle relaxation.
iNOS- Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase
Also known as NOS2, this synthase is in the immune system. It takes part in the immune defense in pathogens.
Nitric Oxides Role in the Body
The list of roles that nitric oxide plays in the body is quite extensive. Every system in the human body is affected by NO in some form.
Nitric oxide plays a significant role in keeping your blood vessels healthy. When you have enough nitric oxide in the blood, it causes vasodilation of the blood vessels, which keeps blood flow good and strong.
This prevents any blood clots from forming, which causes hazardous health conditions.
Because nitric oxide dilates the lungs’ vessels, it helps to oxygenate the entire body and keep blood flow to the lungs.
This helps combat pulmonary hypertension, Chronic Obstructive Airway Disease, and Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
Nitric oxide regulates the T-cell immune response in the immune system. These cells are tasked with fighting off infections, but they also have immune memory that helps you to fight the same illness a second time, at a faster rate.
Nitric oxide aids the renal system by increasing blood flow to the kidneys, which improves the filtration rate and prevents chronic kidney disease.
Nitric oxide works as a neurotransmitter, increasing cerebral blood flow and oxygenating the brain. With this extra nutrition to the brain, you will notice improved cognitive function and memory.
Because nitric oxide aids the nerve brain signaling, this promotes erection during arousal by providing a better link between the brain and the stimulated nerves.
Nitric oxide can control sphincter and intestinal muscle contractions, aiding in the digestion of food.
Nitric oxide controls the inflammatory responses of the skin. By regulating this, NO combat psoriasis and other skin diseases.
Nitric oxide helps heal skin wounds, and its microbial properties fight against yeast and bacteria on the skin.
Top Natural Ways to Increase Your Nitric Oxide Levels
Aside from using a dietary supplement to increase your nitric oxide levels, you can create habits that will naturally boost the production of this beneficial compound in your body.
Blood Pumping Exercise
Exercise helps increase the production of nitric oxide in the body. It does this by using L-arginine in the body and converting it into nitric oxide (pathway 1).
The endothelial function is improved and boosted during this conversion.
Physical activity also increases antioxidants’ capabilities in your body, fighting against free radicals that break down nitric oxide.
Eat Nitrate Rich Foods
You can boost nitric oxide production in your body through pathway two by eating foods that are high in nitrate. Nitrate converts into nitric oxide in your body.
The top three foods to improve nitrate production include:
- Leafy greens
It’s essential to stay away from nitrates in processed meats. Although these foods are high in nitrates, these types of nitrates can do more harm than good.
They can produce nitrosamine, which can cause cancer.
Diet Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants prolong the life of nitric oxide in the body by stopping the breakdown caused by free radicals.
The best antioxidants to help boost nitric oxide in the body include vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, and polyphenols.
Use Mouthwash Very Sparingly
The nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide synthase pathway needs good bacteria in your mouth to function.
Certain antibacterial mouthwashes kill these bacteria in the mouth and render this pathway null.
To ensure that you don’t halt the second pathway of nitric oxide in your body, use mouthwash only when absolutely necessary. Don’t make using mouthwash a daily habit.
Most Significant Benefits of Nitric Oxide Boosters
Nitric oxide benefits in the body are clear to see, but what about nitric oxide boosters? What kind of benefits can you expect out of them?
Here are the top reasons to use nitric oxide supplements:
Lower Blood Pressure
If your blood pressure levels worry you and your cardiovascular health, taking a nitric oxide booster could be a good idea.
Of course, you always want to consult with your doctor before taking any dietary supplements, but they may help reduce high blood pressure.
Nitric oxide works as a vasodilator for your blood vessels. This widening of the blood vessels helps to give the blood more room to flow through your veins while reducing pressure.
Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Taking nitric oxide increases blood flow to the penis. A penile erection involves both physical and emotional triggers.
Nitric oxide works with the nerves between the brain and body connection to allow a man to more easily have an erection from both factors.
Viagra, one of the most popular ED treatments available, works by using nitric oxide to relax the blood vessel walls in the penis to increase blood flow that causes an erection.
Improve Physical and Mental Performance
Athletes often rely on nitric oxide boosters as a pre-workout supplement. They work by increasing glucose uptake and boosting energy levels to give your best workout performance.
Increased blood flow from this workout supplement delivers essential nutrients and oxygen to the muscles and brain.
Many people who take NO boosting pre-workout supplements claim to feel a muscle pump from the increased blood flow to the muscles. This can result in more muscle growth from the ability to improve your athletic performance.
Nitric oxide helps with muscle soreness by flushing out the ammonia and lactate build up in the muscles after a challenging workout.
Citrulline malate, a common nitric oxide boosting supplement, specifically, is effective in improving muscle recovery post-exercise.
Reduce Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are weak and swollen veins in the body that lack endothelial strength inside the arteries. Nitric oxide helps to prevent varicose veins and improve the quality of arteries and veins in the body.
Increase Insulin Sensitivity
People with diabetes face a complex challenge daily. They must try to keep their blood sugar levels at a healthy number since they’re insulin resistant.
Researchers formed a study to see how L-arginine’s supplementation, a precursor to nitric oxide, would affect insulin sensitivity. This study showed that this amino acid that turns into nitric oxide in the body improves insulin sensitivity in Type 2 diabetics.
The Best Nitric Oxide Supplements
The best way to supplement an increased production of nitric oxide is to focus your attention on its precursors.
These five ingredients below are the best nitric oxide supplements on the market today because they trigger and support the body’s ability to produce this powerful substance; nitric oxide.
L-citrulline is an amino acid the body uses to convert to l-arginine, which is a precursor to nitric oxide in the body.
It may seem like you would want to skip this step and just stick with l-arginine supplementation. Still, studies show that citrulline malate may be even better at boosting nitric oxide production in the body than l-arginine.
This is because l-arginine sometimes uses other functions in the body other than nitric oxide production. Also, arginine is poorly absorbed into the body and can wind up in the stomach instead of the bloodstream.
Although l-arginine supplementation is not the first choice of amino acid for nitric oxide production, it still helps. You can add it to your citrulline supplementation for a formula of double effectivity.
Nitrates are essential for the production of nitric oxide through the second pathway. For this reason, many nitric oxide boosting supplements contain foods rich in nitrates.
Common ingredients include beetroot powder and dehydrated organic greens. Beetroots are an especially effective ingredient in NO boosters.
Certain flavonoids, quercetin and epicatechin, both improve endothelial function. These flavonoids do so by increasing the amount of nitric oxide that’s transported through the blood to the blood vessels.
Asian Ginseng Root
This adaptogen root contains ginsenosides, which help convert arginine into nitric oxide. It’s also high in antioxidants, keeping your nitric oxide levels protected during production and use.
By taking our Nitric Oxide Booster, you can take advantage of all the best nitric oxide boosting ingredients. It ensures you have plenty of energy, a healthy blood pressure, and avoid the common side effects of low nitric oxide present in the body.
Better yet, bundle up with our organic beetroot powder to deliver even more heart health benefits and increase your nitric oxide production through both pathways.