That nitric oxide is important in the prevention of heart disease is now well established. Dr. Louis Ignarro was the co-recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his research on the role of nitric oxide in the body.
In his book “NO More Heart Disease - How Nitric Oxide can Prevent and Even Reverse Heart Disease and Stroke - Dr. Ignarro talks about his breakthrough research that led to the discovery of nitric oxide. And he reiterates the role of nitric oxide in maintaining optimal cardiovascular health.
Those who are looking to prevent heart disease should know the importance of nitric oxide for their health. Click here to read more on What is nitric oxide?
Mainly nitric oxide produced by the cardiac endothelial cells. Endothelium is the lining of the blood vessels.
Nitric oxide is a signaling molecule in the body that causes dilation of the cardiac blood vessels. So the blood pressure is reduced, an important factor in prevention of heart disease.
Nitric oxide also prevents the formation of clots that cause heart attack. In the brain, these clots cause stroke. It slow down the build-up of atherosclerotic plaque in the blood vessels. Thus nitric oxide is beneficial in preventing heart disease and stroke.
All of the major causes of heart disease like obesity, a lack of exercise, smoking, poor diet and high cholesterol are all damaging to the endothelium.
Once the endothelium is damaged the production of nitric oxide is slowed. After the production of nitric oxide slows down, the problems with health continue to multiply and your risk for heart disease increases greatly.
This can be reversed, but your body needs to start producing more nitric oxide in order to start fixing the problems that lead to heart disease. Damage that has already been done can be reversed. You need to boost nitric oxide (NO) level in your body.
Boosting NO levels is one of the most effective ways to prevent heart disease. Three elements are critical to increase NO levels –
The endothelium (lining of the blood vessels) produces NO due the action of the enzyme called Nitric Oxide Synthetase (NOS) on amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline. This process is further enhanced by antioxidants like vitamins C and E, folic acid and alpha lipoic acid (ALA).
Thus, an ideal NO supplement contains optimal quantities of both amino acids along with vitamins C and E. These ingredients are converted into NO by enzymatic action. Only synergy and appropriate dosages of nutrients will give you all benefits from nitric oxide.
So, always check the supplement label for ingredients while buying NO supplements. Click here to learn more about how to choose the right nitric oxide supplements.
Foods that are rich sources of L-arginine and L-citrulline boost nitric oxide (NO) levels and help in prevention of heart disease. Watermelon is a very good source of L-citrulline but one of the only few sources.
L-arginine is available through a variety of foods like sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and other nuts, fish, red meat (in moderation). Dried egg white, soy protein isolate, spirulina seaweed and shredded coconut are other foods high in L-arginine.
Foods rich in vitamin C such as citrus fruits are also beneficial in increasing nitric oxide levels. To learn more about heart healthy food that provide health benefits for your heart click here.
To achieve optimal NO levels through food alone would necessitate consumption of large quantities. This is impractical as well as expensive.
Dr. Ignarro emphasizes in his book NO More Heart Disease that the best results are obtained by combining NO foods, supplements and exercise.
Exercise increases the levels of enzyme NOS, responsible for converting L-arginine and L-citrulline into nitric oxide.
Dr. Ignarro suggest exercising at least 20 minutes 3 times a week. At that activity level of your workouts or training your endothelial cells will make additional nitric oxide continuously - even on days when you are not exercising.
At the same time regular exercises will strengthen your heart and make it work more efficiently. When heart becomes stronger, it will able to deliver more blood. And your resting rate become lower.
Thuswise combining exercise and NO supplements and foods has a synergistic effect in boosting nitric oxide levels and is an effective way to prevent heart disease.
Dr. Ignarro has collaborated with Herbalife to develop the innovative Niteworks dietary supplement. Herbalife Niteworks contains the exact combination of L-arginine and L-citrulline along with adequate quantities of vitamins C and E to ensure effective NO levels in the body. More on Herbalife Niteworks read here.
Using Herbalife Niteworks with the right nitric oxide enriched diet and exercise will go a long way in prevention heart disease.