In 1998, the Nobel Prize1 in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three American scientists for the discovery of nitric oxide (NO) as a signaling molecule (miracle molecule) in the cardiovascular system.
This nitric oxide is produced in the endothelium, this is the inner layer of our veins. To produce this nitric oxide the endothelium needs L-Arginine.
Nitric Oxide1 is naturally made in our bodies.
A Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery that Nitric Oxide plays a significant role in the cardiovascular system.
This discovery revealed Nitric Oxide(NO) as a vasodilator, helping to reduce blood pressure and increase oxygen in the blood. Produced by the lining of the blood vessels know as the endothelium, Nitric Oxide acts as a messenger molecule telling blood vessels to widen or dilate and contract or relax, like an elastic band.
With enough Nitric Oxide, blood vessels can relax and widen allowing blood to flow from and to the heart.
As we age we produce less Nitric Oxide.This can cause the cardiovascular system to become less elastic which can reduce the flow of oxygenated blood to vital organs.
This is the reason it’s important to have an active lifestyle and a diet that’s rich in nitrates, which converts to Nitric Oxide and may help maintain normal blood pressure levels and a healthy cardiovascular system.
Until we reach adulthood, the body produces enough nitric oxide to keep the endothelium cells relaxed and flexible. That is why most young people don’t have hypertension or other forms of circulatory problems.
As the years passes most of us develop a hardening of the vascular system, making it less flexible and unable to adjust to circumstantial blood pressure changes. This makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood and can cause serious trauma.
This is one reason why heart attacks and strokes are the number one killer in the western world.
If you want to improve your heart health you need to improve the flexibility of your vascular system.
This improvement will also benefit all other functions in our organs, bones, brain and skin tissue.
The kidneys play an important role in regulating blood pressure. It’s a densely vasodilated organ whose main purpose is to filter waste products and excess salts and water from the bloodstream.
When blood passes through the glomerulus (microscopic filters) removing bacteria, dead cells and waste products (at a rate of about 570 ml per minute) and balances minerals, salts and water before re-entering the bloodstream via the renal vein.
Without this balancing process, nerves, muscles, and other tissues in your body will not work optimally. Kidneys also play an important role in regulating hormone function.
And as those plaques grow and grow they can obstruct the flow of blood. This can lead to a decrease in the flow of blood and therefore the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the heart to a point that when you need your heart when doing exercise or walking up the stairs, if the heart is not getting enough blood or oxygen it is going to feel pain due to ischemicdamage, that is in essentially a heart attack.
Nitric Oxide is a chemical, or a molecule or you can even call it a hormone that is present in the body, which functions in certain specific ways within the cardiovascular system.
It is our way, of protecting ourselves literally against cardio vascular disease.
For example, it is a molecule, that lowers blood pressure. It is our body's mechanism to prevent strokes and heart attacks.The arteries produce nitrogen oxideswith the aim of lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the organs, because Nitric Oxide is a vasodilator,it widens or relaxes, the arteries so that more blood can flow through them.
This lowers the pressure within the arterial system (blood vessels) and protects us from coronary artery disease because it can lower bad cholesterol levels and more.
Nitric oxide production in the arteries is the natural way to protect against heart disease provided we make enough of it.
Nitric Oxide is considered to be a life saver because it is the body’s natural way of protecting against cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death around the world and the body can protectitself against all of these heart disease by producing more and more nitric oxide.
When Nitric Oxide becomes deficient it is when the barriers break down, this is when the protection is lost and the individual is very sensitive and very receptible to heart disease.
And again Nitric oxide is protective because it can keep your blood pressure down in the normal range high blood pressure causes heart attacks, causes strokes and can lead to arteriosclerosis or coronary artery disease and Nitric Oxide can prevent all of these things." Thus Dr. L.J. Ignarro.
In the video to the left, Dr. L.J. Ignarro further explains the numerous benefits of nitric oxide. We have transcribed the text for you below.
Nitric oxide ensures that all organs in the body receive the normal amount of blood and therefore nutrients and oxygen that is required.In addition, nitric oxide can interfere with the blood clotting processand so, it can prevent unwanted blood clotting.
When people suffer from a heart attack in many cases this is due to a blood clot that develops in the coronary arteries that feed blood to the heart. By the same mechanism when a person gets a stroke. This is generally due to the development of a blood clotin the cerebral arteries that carry blood to the brain.
So nitric oxide is something we make to prevent that unwanted clotting of blood.It iss a vasodilator, which means it is going to widen those blood vessels and lower the pressure within the blood vessels. And it doesn't lower blood pressure if the blood pressure is normal.
The endothelium, the inner artery wall, needs L-Argininesee video above to produce nitric oxide. Administration of L-Arginine alone is not sufficient to allow all the benefits of the amino acid to play a significant role in the body. After long bone growth has stopped (around the age of 23), the body's ability to absorb L-Arginine becomes increasingly limited. 7