How Nitric Oxide Helps You Live a Longer, Healthier, More Vibrant Life
Today we’re talking to Nathan S. Bryan, PhD who works in molecular medicine and is the foremost expert in nitric oxide. Dr. Bryan explains that nitric oxide (NO) is one of the most important molecules produced in the human body, which is why he has spent his entire academic career studying how to fix underlying problem of nitric oxide deficiency.
How the Body Makes Nitric Oxide
There are two pathways that create nitric oxide in the body. L-arginine can be converted to NO via an enzyme. But as we age, we lose our ability to convert it because that enzyme decreases.
However, the body can also utilize inorganic nitrate to make NO. This pathway is dependent on oral bacteria. Eighty percent of the essential nutrients for NO production come from green leafy vegetables and 10 percent come from swallowing our own saliva.
The Adverse Effects of NO Deficiency
At its core, nitric oxide is a cell signaling molecule; it affects how the cells in our body communicate with each other and how our body resets homeostasis.
Nitric oxide is a ubiquitous signaling molecule, meaning it occurs in every cell type and tissue throughout the body – it’s a neurotransmitter in the brain and an immune stimulator. When you lose the ability to make it, many things in the body start to go wrong. Erectile dysfunction is the first sign of NO deficiency, and is followed by more serious health problems such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, early Alzheimer’s and increased blood pressure.
Inflammation, which is caused by superoxide, is at the root of any chronic degenerative disease. Nitric oxide also inhibits superoxide production from NADPH oxidase and mitochondria, mitigating a lot of the damaging affects of inflammation.
Lifestyle Strategies to Increase NO
Daily Exercise: Exercise is the most potent activator of nitric oxide production, as it signals NO to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the blood vessels. This prevents platelets and fats from sticking to lining of blood vessels, and also activates an enzyme responsible for muscle relaxation and blood vessel dilation.
As a result, blood pressure decreases, and blood flow to all organs is regulated. It’s been shown that as little as 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise is enough to increase NO levels.
Leafy Greens and Other Vegetables: High NO index foods include kale, Swiss chard, spinach, arugula, chicory root, wild radish, bok choy, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, parsley, cauliflower, beets. The nutrient density for each can range depending on farming practices, but as a general rule, kale is at the top.
Healthy Oral Microbiome: Even if you eat leafy greens and beets, if you don’t have the right oral bacteria, your body won’t be able to create the NO and you won’t derive any benefit. Dr. Bryan and his colleagues conducted a study that indicated that as many as 30 to 40 percent of people don’t have the right oral bacteria.
This may be due to antiseptic mouthwashes and overusing antibiotics, which kill the good bacteria and affect NO production, thereby increasing risk of heart disease and raising blood pressure.
Products To Increase NO Levels
Dr. Bryan’s company Neogenis Labs has created dietary supplements formulated to increase nitric oxide production in the body, such as Beet Elite, which is used by NBA teams, NFL teams and Olympic athletes. The company’s flagship product is the Neo40 lozenge, which is only product in world that delivers authentic NO gas at therapeutic levels to create fast results in blood flow improvement and also improves the body’s ability to make its own NO.
The top three responses from consumers of Neogenis products are:
- They just feel better, physically and mentally
- Improvement in sexual function
- Better sleep habits