Today, we look at what happens to your body when you have low nitric oxide levels, and what causes this deficiency. We also look at 6 vitamins that boost nitric oxide production in your body.
By vitamins, we refer to the foods, nutrients, and antioxidants, you get from your diet.
Watch until the end to learn about one critical mineral that boosts nitric oxide, which 80% of people do not get enough of.
And to learn about a 10-second trick to boost your nitric oxide levels by 200% in 20 minutes, click the link below at the end of this video.
As always, this video is educational and does not constitute medical advice; we are not doctors.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a signaling molecule that acts as a vasodilator, which means it dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow.
Here are nine health benefits of nitric oxide:
Improves blood circulation: Nitric oxide signals the arteries to relax and open wider, which allows for healthy blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart-related diseases.
Increases energy and stamina: Nitric oxide provides the body with a long-lasting energy surge that boosts stamina and overall performance.
Boosts cognitive function: It helps improve brain function and speed up signal transmission, allowing for better thinking and alertness.
Promotes healthy bones: Nitric oxide aids in bone formation while slowing down bone breakdown, resulting in stronger and healthier bones.
Supports heart health: It is known to promote healthy cholesterol levels, keeping the arteries healthy and clear, thus supporting heart health.
Enhances immune function: Nitric oxide signals to the immune system to eliminate harmful invaders, thus providing an added defense.
Improves mood: It can lift your mood and bring a sense of well-being, leading to a happier life.
Enhances muscle and joint recovery: Nitric oxide helps muscles and joints recover faster, allowing for greater mobility and activity.
Boosts sexual health: Nitric oxide increases blood flow to the genital organs, improving erectile health in men and enhancing arousal and pleasure in women.
The problem is that most people in their 40s and beyond are only getting as little as 15% of the nitric oxide levels they had in their twenties.
So, what causes nitric oxide deficiency?
While there are many reasons why your body produces less nitric oxide as you age, it all begins in the endothelium.
The endothelium is the delicate lining inside all blood vessels, from the largest arteries in your heart to the smallest capillaries.
It is responsible for delivering vital oxygen and nutrients, and it is where nitric oxide is produced to keep the body healthy.
In the endothelium, enzymes called Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) are responsible for most of the nitric oxide your body produces.
Nitric oxide signals the muscles in your arteries to relax and widen, allowing blood to flow freely.
A young, healthy endothelium produces plenty of nitric oxide, keeping your body youthful and healthy.
As you age, however, your endothelium deteriorates, leading to a decrease in your nitric oxide levels.
Moreover, factors such as diabetes, smoking, poor diet, inactivity, obesity, chronic stress, genetics, and environmental pollutants contribute to this decline.
But that’s not all.
Using mouthwash regularly can decrease nitric oxide levels, as mouthwash kills the good bacteria that produce nitric oxide.
Plus, taking acid blockers for indigestion or an upset stomach can also interfere with the production of nitric oxide.
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So, how can you know if your body is deficient in nitric oxide?
Here are 7 signs of low nitric oxide, caused by reduced blood flow to different parts of the body.
Poor Athletic Performance: Low oxygen supply to muscles results in reduced exercise tolerance, increased fatigue, and diminished athletic performance.
Erectile Dysfunction: A reduced ability to achieve and maintain an erection can lead to impotence in men.
Lowered Immune Function: White blood cells (macrophages) may produce low nitric oxide in response to harmful pathogens, which can lead to increased susceptibility to infections and slow wound healing.
Poor Cognition: Low blood flow to the brain can lead to poor memory, lack of mental clarity, and reduced cognitive function.
Cardiovascular Health Issues: Contributes to plaque buildup in arteries, hypertension, and impaired blood flow to and from the heart.
Poor Vision: Low levels of nitric oxide disrupt the drainage of fluids from your eyes, causing pressure to build up and weakening vision.
Low Energy, Poor Movement: Feeling sleepy too often, not being able to move comfortably as before, and experiencing lingering aches and soreness.
In short, low nitric oxide levels can make you feel “old” before your time!
Luckily, here are 6 vitamins that boost nitric oxide levels and increase the circulation of blood, nutrients, and oxygen throughout the body.
Let’s start with Number 6. “L-citrulline”.
L-citrulline is an amino acid that is efficiently converted into L-arginine in the kidneys, which then helps to produce nitric oxide.
Arginine is used in the production of nitric oxide, while citrulline is used in the production of arginine.
Studies have shown that supplementing with L-citrulline can increase nitric oxide levels significantly more than supplementing with arginine alone.
This is because arginine needs to be absorbed in the small intestine and liver before being released into circulation; whereas, citrulline can bypass all this and get quickly into the bloodstream.
Therefore, citrulline ends up being a better booster of blood arginine levels than arginine, and it does not cause the same digestive discomfort that arginine can cause in some individuals.
The recommended dosage of L-citrulline is 2-6g per day.
Did you know that watermelon is the king of citrulline-rich fruits?
Besides watermelon, other fruits that are high in citrulline include Casaba Melons, Cucumbers, and Cantaloupes.
Next up, we have Number 5. “Beetroot Extract”.
Beets contain high amounts of dietary nitrates, which are converted into nitrites and then into nitric oxide in the body.
Additionally, beets are an exceptional source of antioxidants that prolong the half-life of nitric oxide.
Other antioxidant-rich, nitrate-rich vegetables are spinach, arugula, kale, lettuce, and cabbage. The goal is to incorporate 2-3 servings of nitrate-rich foods into your daily diet.
Studies have shown that supplementing with beetroot extract can significantly increase plasma levels of nitric oxide. In general, 2-3 teaspoons of beetroot powder per day is enough to get your daily nitrate levels.
Coming up next, is Number 4. “Hawthorn Berry”.
Hawthorn berry increases blood flow, supports healthy circulation, and helps you get even more benefits from l-citrulline and beetroot extract.
Hawthorn berries contain compounds that activate Nitric Oxide Synthase in the endothelium, significantly increasing the production of nitric oxide from arginine. The recommended dosage is 160-1200 mg per day.
Coming into our top 3, Number 3 is “Vitamin B12”.
Most people over 50 are deficient in Vitamin B12. Your cells need B12 to increase nitric oxide production by reducing levels of an amino acid called homocysteine in the blood.
An elevated homocysteine level blocks nitric oxide production, and increases the risk of atherosclerosis, which can lead to coronary artery disease (CAD), heart attack, and stroke.
Your brain, nerves, and muscles need adequate levels of Vitamin B12 for optimal functioning. The recommended dosage for adults over 18 years of age is 2.4 mcg per day of methylcobalamin.
The top foods rich in vitamin B12 include nutritional yeast, fortified cereals, animal liver, beef, clams, sardines, and salmon.
Next up, we have Number 2. “Vitamin C”.
This powerful antioxidant is necessary for boosting nitric oxide.
That’s because it increases the activity of the enzyme needed for producing it in your body.
Vitamin C has also been observed to increase levels of L-citrulline.
Additionally, Vitamin C reduces cortisol and inflammation, to aid in opening the arteries.
To supplement, choose vitamin C made from whole foods, not ascorbic acid. The recommended dosage is 75 – 90 mg per day for adults over 18 years old.
Other antioxidant-rich sources of vitamin C are tart cherries, pomegranate juice, blueberries, strawberries, and citrus fruits.
And at Number 1, we have “Magnesium”.
Did you know that a whopping 80% of the population may not be getting enough magnesium? This crucial mineral is needed to relax smooth muscle cells in your arteries, thus increasing nitric oxide production, and allowing for better circulation throughout the body.
It is also essential for keeping your heart rhythm in check and preventing calcium buildup in vital organs such as your brain, joints, and heart.
The recommended dosage for adults over 19 years old is 400–420 mg per day.
Our recommended magnesium supplement has the highest absorption, see the link below.
Foods such as spinach, pumpkin seeds, almonds, dark chocolate, and avocados are all high in magnesium and can help increase nitric oxide production.
Other ways to increase nitric oxide production include aerobic exercises such as running, cycling, swimming, and dancing, as well as nasal breathing and humming.
I hope you enjoyed this video. To learn about a 10-second trick to boost your nitric oxide levels by 200% in 20 minutes, click the link below.
The next video to watch is, “8 Ways to Improve Blood Flow to Legs and Feet”.