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Nitric Oxide and Blood Pressure!

Blood PressureUnderstanding nitric oxide and blood pressure and the role that nitric oxide plays in helping you maintain a normal blood pressure is critical to good cardiovascular health and your overall wellness.  It is one of the reasons why most doctors and nurses will take your blood pressure every time you visit them. They are checking to make sure that your blood pressure has not increased to place you in the high blood pressure or hypertension category.  (Note: If you would like more information about the dynamics of blood pressure then please read my article “Blood Pressure Overview!”)

High Blood Pressure or Hypertension Can Be Deadly!

It’s estimated that over 50 million Americans have hypertension.  Their risk for having a stroke is seven times greater than those who have a normal blood pressure.  According to the Framingham Heart Study, 50% of all people who had their first heart attack and 66% of people who had their first stroke had blood pressure readings above 160/95 mmHg.

It’s also interesting to note that in the Framingham Heart Study two thirds of the participants who started out with normal blood pressure ended up developing hypertension.  Of the top five reasons why people visit their doctors, hypertension is either number one or number two. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 700,000 deaths per year have a hypertension component.

Because you cannot feel high blood pressure it is sometimes referred to as the “Silent but Deadly Disease!” Although it doesn’t typically produce outward signs, high blood pressure can cause major internal damage by injuring the endothelial cells that line the circulatory system.  This damage impairs the body’s ability to naturally produce Nitric Oxide.  It usually leads to inflammation of the arteries which is followed by atherosclerosis and plaque formations.  Hypertension can also enlarge the heart, damage the kidneys, and trigger a heart attack or stroke.

If you do not know what your blood pressure reading is or if you have not had it measured in the last 6 months, then visit your doctor’s office or your local pharmacy and have your blood pressure measured by a qualified health practitioner.  It’s that important!

Nitric Oxide and Blood Pressure – Effective Treatment thru Nitric Oxide!

The typical treatment program for most people with high blood pressure can be a combination of diet, exercise, stress management techniques, and medication.  For many who opt for the medication route, it’s estimated that 26% still do not have their hypertension under control. Since many medications also have some form of side effect it can be a frustrating journey trying to get your blood pressure under control.

Enhancing the body’s ability to produce Nitric Oxide is seldom considered yet Nobel Prize Laureate in Medicine Dr. Louis Ignarro makes the following statement regarding nitric oxide and blood pressure:

“More effective than any other factor in the body, nitric oxide can dilate the smooth muscle of the blood vessels.  With this dilation, the vessels can relax and allow blood to flow easily through them – and quite possibly lower the blood pressure.”

Nitric Oxide is produced by many cells in the body for various functions.  Its production by the endothelial cells is critical for proper blood flow.  The endothelial cells produce Nitric Oxide from the amino acid L-arginine by the enzymatic action of Nitric Oxide Synthase or NOS. The human genome contains 3 different genes for the encoding of NOS:

  • nNOS (Type 1) – found in neurons
  • iNOS (Type 2) – found in macrophages
  • eNOS (Type 3) – found in the endothelial cells

In healthy blood vessels, Nitric Oxide is continually being produced by eNOS.  The activity of eNOS is calcium and calmodulin dependent.  Plus, there are two fundamental pathways for the stimulation of eNOS:

  1. Shearing forces of the blood flow on the endothelial cells causes a release of calcium to activate eNOS.  Thus, with each heart beat (systole) the endothelial cells of the blood vessels release a puff of Nitric Oxide.
  2. Endothelial receptors are stimulated by a variety of molecules (acetylcholine, bradykinin, adenosine, etc.) to stimulate calcium release to activate eNOS for the production of Nitric Oxide.

Once produced Nitric Oxide diffuses freely across cell membranes to relax the smooth muscles in the wall of the arterioles.  This causes the arterioles to relax to permit the surge of blood to easily pass through it.

It is interesting to note that in mice studies, where the genes for NOS have been disabled hypertension results.

Nitric Oxide and Blood Pressure – 4 Important Keys to Consider!

I’ve given you a lot of information in this blog post about nitric oxide and blood pressure.  The following 4 keys will help you understand how to produce more Nitric Oxide naturally to aid in blood pressure control.

Key 1 – Exercise! You will note from above that increases in blood flow will stimulate Nitric Oxide formation.  Exercise increases blood flow.  It is usually one of the recommendations given to people with hypertension to help them lower their blood pressure.  A simple walking program can be very effective.  As a precaution, if you are not currently exercising then talk with a qualified health professional before starting an exercise program.

Key 2 – Vitamin D3! Calcium is needed for the NOS enzymes to work properly to product Nitric Oxide.  Vitamin D3 has long been known to aid in calcium absorption.  New research shows that D3 also plays a role in healthy cardiovascular function and supports healthy inflammatory response.

Key 3 – Diet! I’m not talking about going on a diet although this can help overweight people who have hypertension.  Instead I’m referring to the type of diet most Americans consume which is refined flour, animal protein and high intake of dark colas.  This is an acidic diet which leaches calcium from your system to affect the efficiency of the eNOS enzymes to produce Nitric Oxide.  To help you understand this process, please see my article “The Acid Alkaline Balance: Does Your Body’s pH Cause Cancer and Other Diseases? Part 1”

Key 4 – L-Arginine! You body uses this amino acid to produce Nitric Oxide.  Most people’s diets are insufficient in the amount of L-arginine needed to properly support Nitric Oxide production.  Supplementation with a good L-arginine product can be beneficial.  I recommend ProArgi-9 Plus. It contains 5 grams of pharmaceutical grade L-arginine with other ingredients to aid in Nitric Oxide production while helping to repair the endothelial cells.  Additionally, this product has a large number of clinical studies (like the High Desert Heart Institute Study) to support its effectiveness.

There are multiple ways to help your body naturally produce more Nitric Oxide.  If you are currently on hypertension medication and decide to use a Nitric Oxide protocol to help you get your blood pressure under control, then work with your health care professional so that adjustments can be properly made.

Together we can work to save a million lives by helping people understand the important relationship between nitric oxide and blood pressure!

Dan Hammer

The information contained in this blog is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam.  The information about nitric oxide and blood pressure has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

8 comments to Nitric Oxide and Blood Pressure!

  • [...] Blood Pressure Regulation – Vitamin D plays a direct role in helping you maintain your blood pressure. It does this in two ways. First, it helps to maintain proper calcium levels so that NOS enzymes used by the endothelial cells can properly produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that relaxes the smooth muscle tone of the vascular wall. This controls blood pressure. Plus, vitamin D helps to regulate proper blood volume levels that are needed to control blood pressure.  [...]

  • [...] High Blood Pressure – One out of every three Americans have high blood pressure. Not only does it increase your risk for heart attacks and kidney failure but it is the number one risk factor for stroke. [...]

  • Louis Maneru

    Male, 65 years old, 15-20 kms hard biking daily, 6-10 kms power walking daily, lift weights in gym workout 3x/week. My BP is 120/80 but I take daily medicine for it. Can I take Nitric Oxide supplements to increase muscle bulk for competition w/o danger to my BP?

  • Hi Louis! Thank you for the information and question. Yes, you should be able to take a nitric oxide supplement to help you increase muscle mass without danger to your blood pressure. However, I would suggest that you be aware of the following items:

    1.You must make sure that you use proper breathing techniques when you’re training. Breath out on exertion and breath in when relaxing. This way you do not cause your blood pressure to go up in response to high thoracic pressures.
    2.If you use a Nitric Oxide supplement make sure the supplement also includes L-citrulline. Ideally you want to use at least 5 grams of L-arginine with 250 mg of L-citrulline. The reason why is L-citrulline will recycle the L-arginine for longer production of nitric oxide. Typically, if you use only L-arginine you will get a 30 minute to 2 hour window of improved nitric oxide production. If you add the L-citrulline you increase this window of improved nitric oxide production to 24 to 36 hours which is a huge health benefit in helping to repair your endothelium and recover from exercise.
    3.I would also recommend that you make your doctor aware of your use of L-arginine/L-citrulline so that your health care provider can make any adjustments in your medication as needed.

    Please keep me posted on your results. I would highly recommend looking at the ProArgi-9 Plus I highlight on this website. It is excellent and I have a lot of athletes who love the benefits they have seen in their workouts. Dan

  • Holly

    Hi, I have heard of dangers of those who had had a heart attack not to use L-Arginine. I have not had but am dealing
    with hypertension. Is L-arginine safe
    to use? And can you use it in conjunc-
    tion with hawthorne?

  • Hi Holly and thank you for your question. Yes, L-arginine is safe to use. It is the amino acid your endothelium needs to create nitric oxide – the master signaling molecule of your entire cardiovascular system. Nitric oxide is critical to your health for a couple of reasons. First, nitric oxide keeps blood platelet cells from sticking together to help prevent strokes and heart attacks. Second, nitric oxide relaxes the smooth muscle of your vascular wall to help you maintain normal blood pressure. In fact, nitric oxide is your body’s most powerful vasodilator so it is essential in helping you with blood pressure issues. Third, when nitric oxide is at proper levels in the blood stream it also repairs damage done to the endothelium.

    Most people have never heard of the endothelium but it lines all of your cardiovascular system. It lines the inside of your heart, arteries, veins and your capillaries are just extensions of the endothelium. It is now considered to be the largest secreting organ in your body.

    In addition to the amino acid L-arginine you should also use the amino acid L-citrulline. L-citrulline recycles L-arginine to help your endothelium properly produce nitric oxide over a long period of time.

    Here are two links to help you better understand:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9b0eMbXkdY This YouTube will help you understand the key areas to look for in an L-arginine product.

    http://danhammerhealth.com/health-concerns/high-blood-pressure-and-endothelium/ This page will go into greater depth and detail about L-arginine, L-citrulline, and other natural ingredients and how they can be used to help those with high blood pressure issues.

    I hope you find this additional information helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions. Dan

  • CaptainM

    I am always looking for that edge in the gym, and will take anything and everything to get where I want quicker. I take Nitric Oxide, as part of the Dr Max Powers Anabolic Stack product, I use it and I take a pack of the stack and when I go to the gym, I have veins poping out of everywhere. I have them in my calfs, shoulders, arms, etc. When I take my stack of assault and this you really see a difference in your vascularity. My veins get huge and really noticable, and I have overheard people in the gym say “that guy has to be on steroids” lol, but I have never taken them and never will. these also seem to help with your pump, and give you energy to boot, but I dont know how much of that is the assault vs these pills. I have taken the assault by itself, and know a good portion if not all the energy is from that product alone. I do think this product helps more with the Vascularity of my body while working out.

    Good product, but just like with anything make sure you drink LOTS of water. A.) to get it flowing through your system, and B.) to flush it out of your system before it does damage to your organs :)

  • Hi CaptainM! Thank you for your comment and the results you are getting on Dr. Max Powers Anabolic Stack. I looked up this product on the internet and looked at both the ingredient list and the recommended warning about the continued use of this product. I don’t want to be negative about this product but several items stood out for me. First is the form of L-arginine used. Second is the lack of the amino acid L-citrulline. Third is the need to go off this product after 8 weeks. Proper supplementation means having a product that will properly nourish your cells, tissues, and organs for long term usage for improved health and function. The creation of nitric oxide is critical for improved circulation. Typically, a product that only uses L-arginine will usually result in a 30 minute to 2 hour window of improved nitric oxide production. This works well for training purposes but doesn’t work well for recovery. When you include a therapeutic level of L-citrulline then you can increase your nitric oxide production from a 30 minute to 2 hour window to a 24 to 36 hour window. This benefits training, performance, and recovery. Plus, this aids in helping to repair damage to the endothelium which lines all of your cardiovascular system. It is your endothelium that creates nitric oxide from L-arginine. L-citrulline recycles the L-arginine allowing for the drastic increase in nitric oxide production. And the form of L-arginine and L-citrulline is also important. The purer the better and a true fermentation process is best. If you’re interested I would highly recommend ProArgi-9 Plus. I’ve a lot of athletes who use this product with great results. And, it is safe for long term use. Please contact me if you have additional questions. Dan

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