Harnessing the Power of Nitric Oxide
What is Nitric Oxide (NO)?
Nitric Oxide is a simple molecule which exists as a gas but is extremely soluble in various bodily fluids like plasma, urine, extracellular fluid, gastric juice etc. and acts on virtually all cells in the body. Unfortunately, NO is not stable and cannot be put in a supplement.
The most effective supplement for increasing NO levels are nitrates and the NOx 3,2,1 pathway. Nitrates act as a reservoir for NO generation. NO is considered as a signaling molecule which means that it helps communication between cells as well as maintaining proper cellular functions. Nitric oxide also has many health benefits.
Cutting edge research has shown that the molecule Nitric Oxide (NO) has a wide array of beneficial effects on the body. This research has revealed a new pathway to increase NO levels, which is called the NOx 3,2,1 pathway. The key to stimulating this revolutionary pathway are nitrates, which are nutrients commonly found in healthy foods like spinach and beetroot.
Taking nitrate containing supplements can be a very effective way to harness the health-boosting powers of foods like beetroot this premise forms the basis of the NOx 3,2,1 family of products.
Nitric Oxide Benefits
- Helps cells to communicate with each other
- Helps maintain proper function of the cell
- Powerful antioxidant
- Powerful vasodilator thereby lowering blood pressure
- Maintains proper functioning of the cells that line blood vessels, helping to preventing plaque formation
- Inhibits inflammation
- Protects the stomach lining by increasing mucus secretion thereby preventing stomach ulcers
- Inhibits growth of various bacteria like pseudomonas (bacteria found in cystic fibrosis patients), clostridium botulinum (food poisoning), Salmonella, H pylori (bacteria that causes stomach ulcers), E coli (that causes UTI's - urinary tract infections) etc.
- Prevents platelets from sticking together preventing blood clots and strokes
- Prevents aneurysm hemorrhage
- Prevents angina and myocardial infarction
- Diuretic effect which also helps to reduce blood pressure
- Beneficial for conditions where oxygen is limited e.g. sickle cell disease, asthma, emphysema, high
- altitude training, upper respiratory chest infections
- May improve sports endurance
- Helps reduce stress
Nitric Oxide and the Immune System
- Helps to eliminate a variety of pathogens including those that cause stomach ulcers, urinary tract infections, skin infections and those associated with cystic fibrosis.
- A first-line defense in the stomach to eliminate swallowed pathogens
- Stimulates the immune system to accelerate wound healing
- Improves blood flow to the damaged areas, improving the immune system’s ability to deal with infections Nitric Oxide as a Superior Antioxidant
- Helps to reduce oxidative stress in the body
- Prevents the peroxidation of lipids
- Protects cells and DNA from the damaging effects of free radicals
- Works synergistically with quercetin for optimal antioxidant protection
Nitric Oxide and Stress
- Creates a relaxed state throughout the body
- Lowers blood pressure, helping to reduce stress
- Improves oxygen delivery to the whole body
- Reduces the damaging effects of excess cortisol and other stress hormones
Nitric Oxide and Bone Health
- Stimulates bone formation and reduces bone resorption
- Helps to improve bone density
- Promotes communication between bone cells, helping to modulate bone remodeling
- Naturally found in bone marrow and is essential for blood and bone cell formation
Nitric Oxide, Energy and Endurance
- Improves athletic performance
- Reduces the body’s oxygen requirements
- Reduces lactic acid production, helping to prevent muscle fatigue
- Improves muscle efficiency
Why is NOx 3,2,1 Technology better than taking L-Arginine for increasing nitric oxide levels?
Until recently the L-Arginine pathway was the only known route for increasing NO levels in the body. The problem is that high doses of L-Arginine and high levels of oxygen are needed for this pathway to function effectively. For instance, during exercise or in cardiovascular conditions where oxygen supplies are limited the L-Arginine pathway is inefficient.
The NOx 3,2,1 pathway is superior in that it is much faster and only small quantities of nitrates are required. Most importantly, this process takes place very effectively in both high and low oxygen conditions. This newly discovered pathway offers a new and exciting method to increase NO levels in the body!
How is NO Generated in the Body?
There are two ways that NO is produced in our body:
NO can be produced from the amino acid L-Arginine by enzymes called nitric oxide synthases. The problem is that high doses of L-Arginine and plenty of oxygen and energy is needed otherwise this conversion becomes inefficient. This is especially true during exercise, when oxygen is limited. Until recently this was the only identified mechanism to produced NO in the human body.
NO can be made from components found in certain vegetables. These components called nitrates get converted quickly into NO in the stomach. This action is much faster and does not require enzymes. Also, only small quantities of nitrates are required and most importantly, this process takes place very effectively under high oxygen conditions but also when low oxygen levels are present. This offers an additional source of NO and can augment the L-Arginine pathway.
How and Where Does NO Work?
NO acts on virtually all cells of the body. Unfortunately, NO has a very, very short half life (milliseconds, or thousandths of a second!) and there is continuous demand for the molecule. NO itself cannot be provided as a supplement because it is highly unstable. NO has to be supplied as a precursor or a molecule that gets converted into NO.
The most effective precursors for nitric oxide production are nitrates. The conversion of Nitrates into Nitric oxide is called the NOx 3,2,1 pathway where Nitrates from food are converted to Nitrites and then into Nitric Oxide. Nitrates therefore act as a storage form or a reservoir for NO generation.
Benefits for Blood Pressure, Ulcers and Exercise Endurance
Recent research has shown that consumption of certain vegetables can increase blood levels of NO rapidly and many of the above benefits become apparent when high levels of NO are achieved.
The latest research reports that when humans consume a plate of spinach, kale, or beet root juice their blood pressure drops remarkably. They attributed this effect to nitrates being converted into NO. Additional research also showed that patients given potassium nitrate showed high blood levels of NO in their blood. This lead to protective effects on the stomach lining due to increased mucus production (which protects the stomach lining) and by the inhibition of the bacterium H. pylori that is now linked to stomach ulcers and certain forms of gastric cancers.
Two recent studies have shown that consumption of high levels of nitrates results in high blood levels of NO and that cyclists performing strenuous exercise were able to reduce their oxygen requirements by around 20%. This is quite staggering!
What Does This Mean For Athletes?
Research in cyclists suggests that generation of NO via consumption of nitrates has an oxygen sparing effect which is very beneficial for athletes. Moreover, the lactate levels were reduced suggesting that endurance was increased. But how is oxygen spared? As mentioned earlier, NO generation via L-Arginine pathway requires the action of a family of enzymes related to the production of Nitric Oxide and plenty of oxygen. All this requires the body to spend a lot of energy to generate NO which is costly especially when oxygen levels drop.
The Nitrate-NO pathway on the other hand does not require the action of these enzymes, nor does it require oxygen. All this means that less energy is required by the body to generate NO from nitrates. This discovery offers significant advantages to any serious athlete. Besides applications in sports, NO could also play an important role where oxygen levels are seriously reduced e.g. people living in high altitudes, chest infections or where not enough blood (and therefore oxygen) is being delivered to tissues like the heart, kidneys, brain etc.
Nitric Oxide Side Effects: Are There Any Toxicity Concerns?
Nitrates are important nutrients with significant health benefits. This is supported by population and various toxicological studies. Nitrates and their reduced products have been consumed for thousands of years. For the last fifty years nitrates have been the subject of serious propaganda and regulatory restrictions.
There have been suggestions that intake of these ingredients can cause cancers due to the link between cured meats and cancer. Yet various researchers suggest that nitrates are probably responsible for the health benefits associated with various fruits and vegetables and the so called 'Mediterranean Diet'. In addition various vegetables are rich sources of nitrates and an intake of a plate of salad or a glass of beetroot juice offers many times the nitrate level that the regulatory bodies have set as an upper limit.
The Truth About Nitrates
Nitrates have gotten some bad press in the past, but the truth is that they are a safe and healthy part of your diet. In fact, some of the healthiest food including spinach, kale and beetroot contain very high levels of nitrates! Even more importantly, the high nitrate content of these foods is part of what makes them so good for you.
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