In recent weeks, we have continued to observe patients presenting with a broad range of COVID-19 symptoms, including blood clotting. Some cases have shown blood clotting in multiple organs. While we are continuing to develop our understanding of the novel Coronavirus, it is prudent to take this time to best prepare our defenses.
N.O. functions in the cardiovascular, neuronal, and immune systems. It is generated within the blood vessels and relaxes the smooth muscles of the vascular system. As a result, the blood vessels are able to deliver oxygen throughout the body, regulating blood pressure and preventing the formation of clots. As a signaling molecule between cells, it has been shown to have an inhibitory effect on some virus infections.
N.O. production is dependent on a number of biochemical reactions.
Nitric Oxide is produced by three different isoenzymes forms
NOS-1 or neuronal (nNOS) – Produced in the neural tissue, skeletal muscle and smooth muscle (including blood vessels), its functions include synaptic plasticity in the central nervous system, central regulation of blood pressure, smooth muscle relaxation, and vasodilatation.
NOS-2 or inducible (iNOS) – Considered an inflammatory mediator, it isn’t normally present in tissues but expression is induced in inflammatory conditions and immune responses. It is essential for healing in the skin and intestinal mucosa, for killing certain pathogens, and is potentially important in regulating T cell proliferation and differentiation (Th1 vs. Th2 immune system).
NOS-3 or endothelial (eNOS) – Generated mainly by vascular cells of the bone marrow stroma, it is a mediator of normal tissue repair.
Like many key compounds in the body, N.O. can be a double-edged sword. Produced by the body in small amounts, where it is needed, it is essential and helps maintain optimal health. But in larger amounts, it can be harmful and damage cells.
N.O. production begins to decrease with age. Therefore, it becomes necessary to support and boost N.O. production as we age.
Ways To Boost and Sustain Nitric Oxide
High-quality proteins – contain amino acids that promote the N.O. production
Vegetables high in nitrates (which are converted to N.O.) – celery, lettuce, beets, spinach and arugula
Omega 3 Fatty Acids – from fresh fish
N.O. production increases dramatically as you engage in physical exercise at any level, whether it is walking, running, cycling, swimming, or just climbing stairs.
Nitric Oxide Supplements
The body’s N.O. levels are lowest at night; that’s why N.O. supplements are best taken at night. These supplements don’t contain N.O. itself, but the ingredients help form N.O. in your body.
L-arginine and L-citrulline – amino acids to support N.O. production, healthy vascular function and blood flow for the healthy function of the brain, heart, blood vessels and other organs
Vitamins C and E and alpha lipoic acid – help to boost N.O production
Here’s the bottom line
Nitric Oxide is a vital molecule in your body and essential to your health. It is a component everyone needs, regardless of age or gender. It is important to support N.O. production for a variety of health reasons, including to promote optimal function and exercise. As we continue to learn about how COVID-19 effects our health, it is especially important to support oxygen and nutrient transport and optimize our pulmonary and cardiovascular function.