Say Yes to NO (Nitric Oxide)

Dr. Mark J. Berkowitz Dentist Morganville, New Jersey

Dr. Mark J. Berkowitz is a top Dentist in Morganville, New Jersey. With a passion for the field and an unwavering commitment to their specialty, Dr. Mark J. Berkowitz is an expert in changing the lives of their patients for the better. Through their designated cause and expertise in the field, Dr. Mark J. Berkowitz is... more

SAY NO to High blood pressure, heart attacks, Strokes, Diabetes, Arthritis, Kidney Disease and more.  

What is NO? It is a signaling molecule that is one atom of nitrogen and one atom of oxygen. It is a gas when it is created which when released easily penetrates nearby membranes in our bodies and signals the arteries to relax and expand, immune cells to kill bacteria and cancer cells and brain cells to communicate with each other.  It is not to be confused with nitrous oxide (N2O). NO sends signals within every cell, tissue, organ and body system. Its most important function is the signaling function within our circulatory system. The endothelium is a single cell lining of all our blood vessels. If you took all the endothelial cells and laid them out flat in our bodies they would cover a soccer field!. NO signals the smooth muscle outside your blood vessels to relax reducing blood pressure, increasing blood flow and oxygenation of your tissues. With enough NO you also help prevent build up of plaque which lessens your risk of heart attacks, strokes and cardio-vascular disease. 

How is it made: One pathway comes from an amino acid L-Arginine (a component of protein food such as meat, fish, dairy,  beans and nuts). This process is sparked by an enzyme called Nitric Oxide Synthase known as NOS. NO is also derived from  nitrite  and nitrate. Many doctors including myself supplemented patients with L-Arginine. However, when this occurs only 3% of it is converted to L-Arginine and studies have shown this is an ineffective way to boost your NO levels. Niroglycerin works via the NO route. It is transformed into nitrite and converted into NO. AS with most drugs the effect is only good for a short period of time and becomes ineffective.  As we eat foods high in nitrites (NO2-) and nitrates (NO3-) this helps our bodies make NO. New research shows Nitrates are broken down in our mouths by bacteria to nitrites. When the nitrites are send to the acid in the stomach they form NO which is in turn send out thru the circulatory system in the body. One pathway that is more effective in achieving a higher conversion  of L-Arginine to NO is using the amino acid L-Citrulline.  

What foods have high levels of Nitrites and Nitrates with high levels of NO in our bodies: Kale is at the top of the list as well as other dark green veggies. The No index for some foods would be Kale-6825, Swiss chard-2055, arugula-1452, spinach-1123, boc Choy 775, Beet-632 and at the low end Hog dogs-1, Bacon-1, Ham-0. You get the idea. I recommend juicing to help increase your levels with lots of raw dark green veggies. 

What other things increase NO in our bodies besides food: Exercise one of the reasons it is so important to cardio-vascular health it generates NO and improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. Also increasing NO allows you to exercise more! Fish Oil supplements increase NO.  Deep breathing generates NO. We have higher concentrations of NO in our nasal passages. As we deep breathe thru our  noses more NO is picked up and sent to our lungs which open the circulation in our lungs and increase oxygen flow. Hydration increase NO too. A study showed that men that drank 5 glasses of water a day had a 46% lower risk of having a heart attack, TCM or traditional Chinese Medicine also has been found to increase levels.. Chanting OM or one and relaxation techniques have been found to increase levels. A sauna especially a far infrared sauna will also raise levels of NO. Lastly proper length and quality sleep will increase levels. Increasing NO will allow you to sleep better 

How to test NO levels and what other supplements to take if your levels are to low; There is new technology to check NO Levels. A company called Neogenis (www.neogenis.com) developed a litmus paper to put in your saliva that will match to a scale to read your NO levels. Most people I have tested are low or depleted. It seems only people like me and others that juice and eat a low or raw dark green veggies had adequate amounts of NO. They also developed a tablet usually initially taken twice a day called Neo-40 that will help restore your levels. I use this when diet or lifestyle is not adequate. For further info on NO I highly recommend the book “The Nitric Oxide Solution by Nathan S. Bryan, PhD.