Nitric Oxide (N.O) is produced naturally by nearly every type of cell in our body.
One of its most important functions is vasodilation, the relaxation of the blood vessel wall. This in turn leads to an increase of blood flow allowing nutrients and oxygen to travel more freely to different parts of our bodies.
This increase in blood flow will lead to a reduction in blood pressure.
As we age the body produces less N.O. This can make our blood vessels less flexible and contribute to hypertension, inflammation and plaque build up in our arteries.
People who don’t produce enough N.O are susceptible to heart disease, diabetes and erectile disfunction.
The brain also relies on unrestricted blood flow. Low N.O in the brain can lead to a disfunction in neurotransmitters and conditions such as depression and alzheimers.
A lot of people will use a N.O supplement. These supplements don’t actually contain N.O but have the compounds that the body utilises to make it. Many of these supplements are also used for enhanced sport performance.
As well as exercise, there are ways we can help and support our bodies to increase the production of N.O;
- Vegetables such as; Celery, cress, lettuce, beetroot and spinach.
- Antioxidants such as; Vitamin C (citrus fruit), vitamin E (nuts & seeds), polyphenols (coffee) and glutathione (avocados).
- Supplements such as; Amino Acids L-Arginine and L Citrulline will support the production of N.O
Of note mouthwash reduces N.O as it kills bacteria good and bad in the mouth. A lot of this good bacteria is instrumental in the production of N.O
An increase in N.O other from food or supplementation will energise your body as well as improving your cognitive function and mental capacity.