If I asked you what nitric oxide was, some would think it is something used by bodybuilders, and others wouldn’t know. Nitric oxide (NO) is an overlooked, yet very important signaling molecule produced by every cell in our body. Nitric oxide has been shown to be important in all body systems from cardiovascular to immune.
• Help memory and behavior by transmitting information between nerve cells in the brain
• Improves infection fighting ability
• Relaxes arteries and airways
• Reduce inflammation
• Improve sleep quality
• Increase blood flow and oxygenation
• Increase endurance and strength
• Assist in gastric motility and enhanced nutrient absorption
Nitric oxide is needed in abundance, but is short-lived, and must be renewed continuously. By the age of 40, the ability to produce NO is decreased by half. Our age, diet, and sedentary lifestyle can leave us open to a deficiency. The most common symptom is fatigue and general low energy, other less obvious symptoms can be decreased libido, anxiety, asthma, sleep disturbances, and/or poor memory.
The first step to increasing nitric oxide is through diet. The dark green, leafy vegetables (spinach, kale) and beets are high in nitrates. Consumption of these will facilitate our bodies own natural production of nitric oxide. The amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline are precursors to nitric oxide, and can sometimes help increase levels.
With nitric oxide deficiencies due to aging, inactivity, smoking, high cholesterol, fatty diets, and lack of healthy foods, increasing your nitric oxide levels can help increase your energy, vitality and overall wellness.
A simple salivary test can determine your need for nitric oxide. The test strips can be purchased for at home use. It is best done in the morning before food, drink, and brushing teeth. If your levels are found to be low or deficient, we carry a couple of different products to bring your levels up. (Nitric oxide support powder and Neo40 lozenges)
These should be taken twice daily for one month and then re-test your levels.
I consider myself a pretty healthy individual: I eat a clean diet, exercise regularly, no medication usage or chronic health conditions. I say this, because I was surprised to see that I was extremely deficient in nitric oxide upon testing.
I welcome any questions you may have on nitric oxide, testing and/or supplementation.
by Brandi Grimmer, CNC, LPhT