10+ Natural Nitric Oxide Supplements
If you are interested in optimizing heart health, performance and fitness, nitric oxide supplementation just may be the right choice for you.
Nitric oxide is a gas synthesized naturally in our bodies with the chemical formula NO. It is a cell signaling molecule that transmits messages from one cell to another.
Its major function is to cause vasodilation i.e. widening blood vessels and improving blood flow through them.
The benefits of nitric oxide cannot be overstated. Nitric oxide can by performing its function reduce blood pressure, improve libido, improve performance and help optimize exercises and workout routines.
The increased blood flow caused by nitric oxide will also increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the sites that need it.
As a result of this, nitric oxide will cause an increase in muscle mass, muscle strength, performance and fitness by two mechanisms;
- Vasodilation causes improvement in oxidation and nutrient supply increasing muscle size, strength, performance and fitness.
- Also, improved performance as a result of vasodilation puts more stress on the muscles causing faster breakdown and speedier buildup of muscle tissue and consequently giving you massive muscle gains.
In order to get quicker results than can be produced by eating foods rich in nitrates, people looking to optimize performance should also use nitric oxide supplements.
Where is nitric oxide produced in the body?
Nitric oxide is synthesized in the human body by Nitric Oxide Synthases (NOS). NOS have three types which perform different functions.
Human beings have the ability to produce the nitric oxide they need by several mechanisms:
- From the amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline via the nitric oxide synthase pathway.In the body, the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS) produces nitric oxide from the amino acid arginine.
- From inorganic nitrates in food and supplements.
Contrary to their names, many nitric oxide foods do not contain any actual nitric oxide. In fact, the central ingredient in all nitric oxide foods is the amino acid Arginine (or L-arginine), and more recently citrulline malate, a more efficient source of arginine.
10+ Nitric Oxide Supplements
If you intend to claim all these benefits of nitric oxide usage and improve its functions in your body, here are several nitric oxide supplements you should consider using.
- L-Arginine and L-Citrulline:
Arginine is the precursor amino acid for the production of nitric oxide by nitric oxide synthases.
Arginine supplements can be used to boost nitric oxide levels in the body. Usually sold in the form of supplement pills, arginine may also be boosted by diet and exercise.
In the same vein, citrulline is even more effective in boosting nitric oxide levels because it provides a longer lasting supply of arginine.
These supplements are usually taken in the form of pills and are the best energy pills because they have the fewest side effects.
- Hawthorn Extract:
Hawthorn extract has been used for cardiovascular diseases for centuries. Recent trials have demonstrated its efficacy for the treatment of heart failure, and the results of several small trials suggest it may lower blood pressure.
It aids the action of nitric oxide as it is very rich in “nitrite reductase”, a key enzyme needed for the conversion of nitrates to nitric oxide.
Also, it contains about 5% polyphenols that also help facilitate nitrite reduction while inhibiting unwanted nitrosation reactions.
The optimization of the nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway, which is built in to the GI system, has been shown to reduce blood pressure, improve endothelial function, protect from myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury, prevent inflammation, and reduce triglycerides (TGs) and C – reactive protein.
Hawthorn is also used traditionally to treat tapeworms, indigestion and other gastrointestinal complaints.
- Grape Seed Extract:
This is an extract derived from grape seed. It is also known as GSE, oligomeric procyanidin, procyanidin and OPC-3. It is not to be confused with resveratrol or pycnogenol.
Studies have shown that grape seed extract also has the ability to improve the activity of the nitric oxide synthase pathway by up to 138%.
Grape seed extract also improves arterial flow, boosts immunity, increases the aromatase enzyme and thereby helps boost testosterone levels.
Pycnogenol is also known as pine bark extract. The active ingredient in pine bark extact may also be gotten from other sources such as peanut seeds, grape seeds and the bark of the witch hazel plant.
Pycnogenol stimulates endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS) to promote the production of nitric oxide in the arteries and cause vasodilation.
Pycnogenol is used for treating circulation problems, allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears, high blood pressure, muscle soreness, pain, osteoarthritis, diabetes, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a disease of the female reproductive system called endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, painful menstrual cramps, etc.
Recent studies suggest that exposure to sunlight may help produce nitric oxide. This is in addition to the already established production of vitamin D that sunlight provides.
Quercetin occurs naturally in onions, garlic, chives, apples and grapes. It has a protective effect towards nitric oxide increasing its half life and prolonging its actions.
It works very well in conjunction with other flavonoids and supplements to boost nitric oxide.
- Coenzyme Q10:
This molecule occurs naturally in the mitochondria of cells and helps boost energy levels.
The body has the ability to synthesize coenzyme Q10. This ability may be interfered with by compounds such as statins.
In conditions such as this, supplementation may be required. However, there are foods rich in coenzyme Q10 such as grassfed beef, salmon, egg yolks, spinach, brazil nuts.
Niacin promotes the formation of nitric oxide synthase which in turn increases baseline levels of nitric oxide.
It also promotes good cholesterol. Niacin may also be known as nicotinamide or vitamin B3.
Niacin is also useful in conditions such as diabetes and congestive heart failure, etc.
This flavonoid has the ability to stimulate nitric oxide synthase enzyme and stimulate production of nitric oxide.
It is a member of a group of plants called “polyphenols”. Resveratrol is useful in several conditions including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and erectile dysfunction.
Icarrin is derived from the epimedium extract of the horny goat weed plant.
The active compound in the horny goat weed plant (icariin) is great for nitric oxide production, and it also acts as a mild PDE-5 enzyme inhibitor.
Possible Side Effects of Excessive Nitric Oxide
As it is with any other compound, too much of nitric oxide can be bad for you.
Excesses are more likely to occur when using supplements and medication to boost nitric oxide. If you exceed the dosage recommended by the manufacturer or health care personnel, it is very likely you will experience side effects.
Even then, only about one in four people will experience side effects from using nitric oxide supplements correctly. These side effects may go away after one or two weeks of usage.
In some cases, a reduction in dosage is all that is necessary to stop side effects.
It is important to note that nitric oxide should not be taken by people who are on medications for heart disease or blood thinning medication.
Also, people using Viagra should avoid nitric oxide supplements. It is important you consult with your doctor before starting any new supplements.
Symptoms of an excess of nitric oxide include;
- Blood Pressure Changes
When nitric oxide affects blood vessels, a decrease in blood pressure is a potential side effect.
Symptoms associated with low blood pressure include headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting and loss of balance.
These symptoms may be worse when you are standing from a sitting position or when urinating. Discontinue use and consult your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms.
As a result of the ability of nitric oxide to dilate your blood vessels, an excess of nitric oxide can cause you to feel lightheaded and faint. This usually results from a marked decrease in blood pressure.
- Increased Bleeding
Nitric oxide supplements may increase the risk of bleeding because of their ability to relax blood vessels.
Therefore, you should ask your doctor about using nitric oxide supplements if you have a bleeding disorder or you are on blood-thinning medications such as warfarin.
- Other side effects of using nitric oxide supplements include headaches, nausea, cramps, blurry vision and so on.
How to Buy Nitric Oxide Supplement
It is important to note that although prescription drug manufacturers are closely regulated by the FDA, supplement makers find it easier to get their products on the market.
Nitric oxide is sold by many different manufacturers, so it is not possible to say how safe this supplement is.
Some nitric oxide supplements are better than others. Some brands are made in labs and may be more hygienic than others.
It is imperative that you seek out only the most reputable manufacturers before taking any type of supplement.
Furthermore, the cost of a supplement often has little to do with the processes and facilities that were used to produce it.
You should speak to a physician that has experience with health supplements if you want to find the best nitric oxide brand.
Some brands of nitric oxide supplements seem to cause more side effects than others so it is important to take into consideration the active ingredients in the supplements which you buy and their possible side effects.
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