Foods and Supplements for Nitric Oxide!

Nitric Oxide Molecule

The latest health trend has been the emerging science of nitric oxide production.

While foods and supplements for nitric oxide production has been part of the body building world, it’s now becoming popular for cardiovascular health. 

It’s about time!

The 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three American researchers who discovery on how your endothelium, which lines all of your cardiovascular system, converts the amino acid L-Arginine into nitric oxide – the master signaling molecule of your entire cardiovascular system. Recently, Dr. Oz has been promoting L-Arginine supplementation has a key factor for improving cardiovascular health.

While L-arginine is critical to nitric oxide production, the amino acid L-citrulline is also extremely important. In fact, most nitric oxide researchers will tell you that L-Citrulline is equally, maybe in more important, than L-Arginine. The reason why is L-Citrulline recycles L-Arginine to have a synergistic effect on extending the endothelium’s ability to properly produce nitric oxide. Here’s the difference between L-Arginine alone versus the two in combination with each other:

  • If you consume a therapeutic level of L-Arginine you will typically get a 30 minute to 2 hour window of improved nitric oxide production resulting in a small window of improved circulation.

     

  • If you combine your L-Arginine with a therapeutic level of L-Citrulline then you will increase this window of improved nitric oxide production to a 24 to 36 hour window. That’s huge especially in helping to repair your endothelium for long term improvements in your circulation.

Dr. Louis J. Ignarro, one of the 1998 Nobel Laureates in Medicine, established the following quantities needed for these two amino acids. According to Dr. Ignarro you need 4-6 grams of L-Arginine and 200 to 1000 mg of L-Citrulline to have a therapeutic effect. Anything less and you’re not going to get improved nitric oxide production. The following video will help you understand how much food this represents. It was originally done for our series on sickle cell anemia but it directly applies to this discussion.

Foods That Contain L-Arginine, L-Citrulline, and Folic Acid for the Creation of Nitric Oxide! 

 

As you can see by the above video food brings with it a cost in both quantity and calories. The following video helps to take this information and compare it to the dollar cost of using supplementation to help create a therapeutic level of nitric oxide production.

Food vs. Supplementation for the Creation of Nitric Oxide! 

 

Clearly supplementation is a more cost effective approach to addressing improved nitric oxide production. I’m in the process of preparing a new video to help you properly analyze this growing world of nitric oxide supplements. It will help you ask the right questions and look for the right information so that you can choose supplements that will give you great value and lead to real improvements to the cardiovascular system.  

If you’re interested the product I highlighted at the end of the above video, then please check out ProArgi-9 Plus. It’s a clinically proven product that can repair and nourish the endothelium for improved nitric oxide production leading to significant cardiovascular improvements. 

Together we can work to save a million lives through the most cost effective method for the creation of nitric oxide! 

Dan Hammer 

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.  

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about foods and supplements for nitric oxide 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.

Arteriosclerosis and Atherosclerosis – Treatment Programs!

ArteriosclerosisAccording to the American Heart Association, arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis account for nearly 75% of all deaths from heart disease! To have a significant impact on reducing the number one killer of people worldwide, it would make sense to focus on treatment programs that address these cardiovascular diseases.

As I gathered data for this article many of the websites made the following comment – “The exact cause of arteriosclerosis is not known.”

This author would like to disagree with that statement.


The exact cause of arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis is known!

It is damage to the endothelial cells that line all of your cardiovascular system, which reduces their ability to properly produce nitric oxide, the master signaling molecule of the cardiovascular system. Nitric oxide is key to cardiovascular health. According to Dr. Louis J. Ignarro, the 1998 Nobel Laureate in Medicine,

NO – as it is known by chemists – is produced by the body specifically to help keep arteries and veins free of the plaque that causes stroke and to maintain normal blood pressure by relaxing the arteries, thereby regulating the rate of blood flow and preventing coronaries. Nitric oxide is the body’s natural cardiovascular wonder drug.”

If you look closely at Dr. Ignarro’s statement you will notice the following significant phrase: “. . . specifically to help keep arteries and veins free of the plaque that causes stroke. . .” Plaque formation is at the heart of atherosclerosis. Calcification of these plaque formations lead to arteriosclerosis.

The “natural cardiovascular wonder drug” Dr. Ignarro was referring to is nitric oxide, which is produced by the endothelial cells from two important amino acids: L-arginine and L-citrulline. Nitric oxide can specifically prevent both arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis. Many researchers would also suggest that the proper production of nitric oxide, by your endothelial cells, can reverse both of these cardiovascular diseases.

The following is a review of many of the treatment programs for arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis. These treatment programs can be broken down into two major categories: self-care at home and medical treatment. The overall goals of these treatment programs are to reduce symptoms and prevent the progression of the disease so that potential blockages can be prevented. But, the question remains:

Is there a better treatment program and can it actually reverse arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis?”

We’ll examine this after we look at the standard treatment programs usually recommended to patients diagnosed with arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis.

Self-Care at Home Treatment Programs!

Self-care treatment programs typically mean lifestyle changes. Let’s look at each of these lifestyle changes in relationship to their effects on the endothelial cells and the production of nitric oxide:

  1. Eat food that is low in saturated fats and low in cholesterol. This is a big topic but in its simplest terms LDL cholesterol (Bad Cholesterol) can damage your endothelial cells leading to plaque formations.

  2. Restrict salt intake especially if you have high blood pressure. Again this is a big topic because it only focuses on one mineral: sodium. Also important to this equation is potassium, magnesium, and calcium for proper cardiovascular metabolism.

  3. Increase the consumption of high fiber foods especially vegetables and fruits. High fiber foods help to absorb bile salts that your body uses in digestion. Your liver manufactures bile from cholesterol. Thus, high fiber foods are a natural way to reduce LDL cholesterol, which reduces the potential damage they can cause to your endothelial cells. Also, vegetables and fruits have little sodium but are high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which helps maintain proper cardiovascular metabolism.

  4. Quit smoking. This habit has major effects on your cardiovascular system, especially your endothelial cells. Nicotine damages endothelial cells. Cigarette smoking decreases “Good” cholesterol that helps to protect your endothelial cells and increases the “Bad” cholesterol that damages your endothelial cells. The carbon monoxide produced from cigarette smoking also damages endothelial cells and can facilitate plaque formation. Plus, smoking constricts arteries leading to an increased risk of blockages.

  5. Lose weight if overweight or obese. Fat cells absorb and store Vitamin D. Vitamin D inhibits vascular calcification. Vascular calcification is at the heart of arteriosclerosis. Thus, losing weight releases needed Vitamin D back into your system and improves your body’s ability to utilize Vitamin D to reduce multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

  6. Mild to moderate exercise under the supervision of a health care provider. Exercise increases blood flow. Increased blood flow stimulates the endothelial cells to produce nitric oxide.

  7. Maintain normal blood glucose (sugar) levels. When blood glucose is above the normal range it causes oxidative stress to the endothelial cells resulting in damage and a reduction in nitric oxide production.

Medical Treatment Programs

Medical treatment programs usually center on prescription drugs, surgical procedures, or a combination of both to either reduce the risk or repair existing damage to the vascular system. While this list is not exhaustive it does include many of the more prominent treatment programs. Let’s look at each in relationship to the endothelial cells and nitric oxide production.

  1. Taking drugs to normalize blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage the endothelial cells. Yet, learning how to naturally nourish your endothelial cells to improve their ability to produce nitric oxide can also normalize blood pressure but without the side effects of medications.

  2. Taking drugs to normalize blood sugar levels. This is especially important for those with diabetes. But, equally important is having in place a nutritional program that will help to repair the damage high blood sugar can cause the endothelial cells.

  3. Taking drugs to lower lipid levels. Statin drugs are the most commonly used lipid-lowering drugs because they effectively interfere with the production of cholesterol by your liver. Unfortunately, they also interfere with the creation of Co-Q10 which is extremely important for heart health and overall energy production. The main purpose of statin drugs is to keep LDL Cholesterol or Bad Cholesterol from damaging the endothelial cells. The proper production of nitric oxide can also repair this damage and keep the “Bad” cholesterol from creating damage in the first place.

  4. Aspirin inhibits sticky platelets cells from forming a blood clot. Nitric oxide also keeps blood platelet cells from sticking together but without the potential risk for bleeding.

  5. Balloon angioplasty. To open blocked or narrowed vascular vessels a balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into the body. When the narrowed vascular area is reached the balloon is inflated to press the plaque deposit against the vascular wall. This procedure is designed to increase the diameter of the affected area to improve blood flow. The concern is that the balloon procedure will damage the endothelial cells creating a stimulus for additional scarring and plaque formation. This procedure treats a symptom but doesn’t solve the underlying problem.

  6. Stenting. Following angioplasty a metal tube called a stent will be placed in the vascular area to help keep it open. The stent acts as a scaffold to support the vascular wall. To prevent additional complications from the endothelium and blood clotting on the metal surface, patient are asked to take specific drugs. Again, this procedure treats a symptom but doesn’t solve the underlying problem.

  7. Bypass surgery. This surgical procedure uses arteries or veins from other areas of the person’s body to bypass the blocked vascular area to improve blood flow. Again, this procedure treats the life-threatening event but doesn’t solve the underlying problem.

All of these treatment programs are important. Most of the self-care at home treatment programs help to protect and nourish the endothelial cells. Most of the medical treatment programs limit additional damage to the endothelial cells or are used to correct a problematic area of the vascular system. No one is questioning the proper use in helping to reduce risk and/or save a person’s life from the arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis.

But, the question still remains is:

Is there a better treatment program and can it actually reverse arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis?”

The answer is “YES!”

It all centers on nourishing and repairing the endothelial cells to improve their ability to properly product nitric oxide, the master signaling molecule of the cardiovascular system or what Dr. Ignarro refers to as “the body’s natural cardiovascular wonder drug.” We’ll explore this in future articles.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan@agingnomore.com

630-936-8079

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about Arteriosclerosis and Atherosclerosis contained in this article 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.

Strength Training Part 3

Strength TrainingAddressing the One Critical Factor That Makes ALL the Difference for Enhanced Strength Training!

In Part 1 of Strength Training we discovered how little attention is paid to the health of your endothelial cells and their importance to athletic performance. In Part 2 we learned how the endothelial cells create capillary beds to improve circulation. We also learned that your endothelial cells create nitric oxide which is critical to blood flow. In this concluding part we are going to put it all together so that you can completely understand how this impacts your training, performance, and recovery in strength training.

We’re also going to look at the two critical amino acids needed by your endothelial cells. One you’ve most likely heard of but the other one is seldom talked about or used, yet it can make a significant difference in all phases of human performance.

Training for Muscular Strength and Endurance!

There are many different training programs designed to help you build strength, stamina, speed, endurance, and power specific to your strength training goals. Foundational to every strength training program is your ability to fuel muscle tissues with the oxygen and nutrients they need to sustain your efforts. It also becomes the limiting factor in your athletic performance because of the difference between anaerobic and aerobic energy production and the waste products they produce.

In the simplest of terms, 1 unit of glucose will produce 2 units of energy during anaerobic respiration and the resulting waste product is lactic acid. In aerobic respiration 1 unit of glucose will produce 36 units of energy and the resulting waste products are carbon dioxide and water. Aerobic respiration produces 18 times more energy and its waste products do not negatively affect muscle contraction like lactic acid does. Yet, the waste product of carbon dioxide enhances the lungs ability to saturate the hemoglobin molecules of the red blood cells with oxygen.

With enhanced circulation, that comes from properly repairing and fueling your endothelial cells to optimize their production of nitric oxide, you are able to keep this ideal metabolic exchange for a longer period of time.

By properly nourishing your endothelial cells you will help them increase capillary beds to the working muscles, tissues, and organs involved in your strength training program. This will increase their ability to produce nitric oxide, the master signaling molecule of your cardiovascular system. These two factors will improve blood flow and deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles. This will allow them to work at a higher aerobic capacity for a longer period of time. This will allow you to work at a higher intensity with less lactic acid formation for quicker recoveries so that subsequent strength training sets can be performed at a higher intensity with less lactic acid buildup. This improves your anaerobic threshold, which is the limiting factor for most people.

Improved blood flow results in improved performance of the working muscles, faster recovery, and better muscle development to maximize your strength training program. This applies to both general fitness and specific muscular development for your particular sport.

Performance in Strength Training!

While there are many factors that can affect your performance, most athletic ability is a product of your training and the ability to properly fuel your body to meet the demands of your event. Just like in training, properly nourishing your endothelial cells to improve their ability to properly produce nitric oxide can make a significant difference in your athletic performance.

Critical to your performance will be your body’s ability to deliver needed oxygen and nutrients to meet the intensity of your event, and to sustain that intensity for as long as needed. By optimizing the health of your endothelial cells you will help improve circulation. Improved circulation improves the delivery of needed oxygen and nutrients while carrying away the waste products that can be a limiting factor in performance. Again, you have significantly improved your anaerobic threshold, which is usually the limiting factor for most people in strength training and affects everyone’s performance.

Recovery in Strength Training!

Just as the endothelial cells, and their ability to properly produce nitric oxide, improve both training and performance, they will also have a positive effect on recovery. Recovery is a combination of waste product removal and reloading the muscle tissues with the nutrients they need for repair and energy production. Again, this is a function of improved circulation.

When your endothelial cells properly produce nitric oxide for improved circulation, you work at a higher anaerobic threshold, which means less lactic acid production. With improved circulation it’s easier to remove this limiting waste product to speed recovery. Improved circulation also delivers the needed nutrients to reload the muscle tissue and facilitate any tissue repair. All of this means quicker recovery from both your strength training and performance activities.

Two Critical Amino Acids for Strength Training!

There are two amino acids that are critical to properly nourishing and repairing your endothelial cells to optimize their ability to produce nitric oxide. They are L-arginine and L-citrulline. Many have heard of L-arginine since there is a wealth of information and products in the marketplace. Few have heard of L-citrulline yet it is just as important to the health of your endothelial cells as L-arginine.

The essential amino acid L-arginine is found in foods like eggs, tuna, chicken, peanuts, and beans. However, when isolated and properly brought into the body, L-arginine has the ability to produce some remarkable results. Specific to strength training, research shows the following benefits:

  • Precursor for the synthesis of nitric oxide.

  • Stimulates growth hormone, which is essential for large muscle mass, multi joint exercises, as well as high power exercises.

  • Improves blood circulation and aids in blood pressure regulation.

  • Improves insulin sensitivity to help normalize blood sugar and replenish post workout glycogen stores.

  • Supports protein synthesis.

Your endothelial cells use L-arginine to create nitric oxide. Most research indicates that for you to receive a therapeutic effect you need to consume at least 5 grams of pharmaceutical grade L-arginine. This means both the quantity and quality of L-arginine used is extremely important.

The amino acid L-citrulline is very hard to obtain from food alone so supplementation is the best option. Most vascular researchers will tell you that L-citrulline is equally important, maybe even more important, than L-arginine because it significantly extends the ability of the endothelial cells to properly produce nitric oxide.

Typically, a therapeutic level of L-arginine creates a 30 minute to 2 hour window of improved nitric oxide production. By including the proper amount of L-citrulline you can extend this improved nitric oxide production to 24 to 36 hours. This extended window of improved nitric oxide production allows for significant health benefits. This helps to repair the endothelial cells so that they can work optimally. This provides improved blood flow so that muscles, tissues, and organs that have been used during all phases of strength training can recover quicker for better results.

Additionally, L-citrulline can bypass the destructive nature of the enzyme arginase that everyone carries in their blood stream. Arginase destroys L-arginine, which can limit nitric oxide production. L-citrulline provides an alternative pathway for the endothelial cells to convert L-citrulline to L-arginine for improved nitric oxide production. This is especially important for African Americans since they have a genetic predisposition for carrying higher levels of arginase in their bloodstream.

Unfortunately, most L-arginine products sold as nitric oxide enhancers do not include this critical amino acid L-citrulline.

ProArgi-9 PlusProArgi-9 Plus for Strength Training!

ProArgi-9 Plus is a clinically proven, natural, nutritional supplement that is uniquely designed to repair the endothelial cells that line all of your cardiovascular system to improve their ability to create nitric oxide. This product was originally designed for clinical use for those with cardiovascular health issues. It has both long term and short term clinical results. Results that have clearly demonstrated ProArgi-9 Plus ability to remarkably improve the health of the endothelial cells and enhance their ability to create nitric oxide. This has resulted in dramatically improving circulation and eliminating or substantially reducing cardiovascular challenges.

As this product has been applied to strength training it has produced remarkable improvements for athletes. Improved training, improved performance, and improved recovery have all been noted by those who have made ProArgi-9 Plus a part of their nutritional program. Most athletes will take 1 ½ to 2 scoops of ProArgi-9 Plus approximately 30 minutes prior to their workout or performance. By the time they have completed their warm up it’s in their system to help provide their endothelial cells with the necessary ingredients for improved nitric oxide production. It then significantly enhances their ability to work at higher intensity levels with less lactic acid formation for quicker recoveries. Because ProArgi-9 Plus includes L-citrulline it helps to enhance the body’s ability to repair so that recovery is quicker.

This overall improvement in training, performance, and recovery has helped those who strength train see significant gains in the gym and during their athletic performance. This Nobel Prize winning information in the area of anatomy, biochemistry, and nutrition has produced documented clinical results for improved cardiovascular health. This same information can also be applied to strength training to enhance all phases of your athletic performance.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan@agingnomore.com

630-936-8079

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about strength training contained in this article 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.

What Foods Contain L-Arginine and L-Citrulline?

I’ve written many articles about the need for L-arginine and L-citrulline. How critical they are for nitric oxide production. How your endothelial cells use these two amino acids to create nitric oxide, the master signaling molecule of your cardiovascular system.

Quite frankly, you could not live without nitric oxide. It’s a critical molecule in many biological functions but especially for good cardiovascular health. So, I’m often asked:

What foods can I eat that contain L-arginine and L-citrulline?

To answer that question I went shopping, bought some foods and put together the following video. Enjoy the video and I’ll have some observations to make after you watch it:

In preparing this video I came across an excellent chart that lists food sources high in the amino acid L-arginine. I’ll provide you a link to this chart at the end of this article. It was an eye opener, even for me. It changed my thinking on dairy products and it even helped me to discover the reason why Rocky Balboa was able to beat Apollo Creed in the Rocky movies. Let’s start with some observations.

Observation 1Plant based foods are a better source of L-arginine then animal products.

The chart I found lists the L-arginine content in 100 grams of food. 100 grams is just slightly less than a ¼ pound. You’ll note that if you wanted to get 1 gram of L-arginine or more in your diet, there are 15 choices for plant products but only 5 choices for animal products.

Observation 2 – Much of the literature recommends dairy products as a good source of L-arginine yet it’s listed last on the chart.

You would have to drink 44 ounces or just slightly less than 1 ½ quarts of milk to get 1 gram of L-arginine. Not good for those who are lactose intolerant.

Observation 3 – Most research indicates that for you to receive a therapeutic benefit from L-arginine you need to consume at least 5 grams of this amino acid at one time. So I selected 6 food items from the list that I thought would be common food choices. I did the math conversations to look at how much food you would need to eat to take in 5 grams of L-arginine. I also looked at the number of calories and grams of fat it would bring into your body. Here’s what I discovered and what I based most of the above video on:

Peanuts – 6 oz / .36 lb = 918 calories and 70 g of fat

Beans – 12 oz / .75 lb = 338 calories and 1.5 g of fat

Tuna – 10 oz / .63 lb = 528 calories and 18 g of fat

Chicken Breast – 15 oz / .92 lb = 756 calories and 5 g of fat

Salmon – 15 oz / .92 lb = 865 calories and 42 g of fat

Eggs (Whole, Raw) – 21 oz / 1.34 lbs = 915 calories and 55 g of fat

Observation 4 – Now you can see why weight lifters choose beans, tuna, and chicken breasts as their primary source of protein. It provides them with the proper amount of L-arginine with the least number of calories and grams of fat. Even though peanuts have a higher concentration of L-arginine when you factor in calories and grams of fat it’s not the first choice if you need to watch you weight.

How Rocky Balboa Beat Apollo Creed!

Observation 5 – This is the Rocky Balboa observation. Go back and watch the first movie and compare Rocky’s diet to Apollo Creed’s. Remember the scene where Rocky cracks open about a half dozen eggs into a glass and then drinks them raw, yoke and all. Whether he realized it or not (and I’m sure he and Sylvester Stallone didn’t) he was loading his body with L-arginine to improve his blood flow. This maximized his workout program and improved his cardiovascular stamina.

Observation 6 – There is not much of a choice in foods for L-citrulline. Watermelon is your one and only good food choice. You can read my article, “The Need for L-Citrulline!” to get more information on this subject.

When people realize all the food they need to eat, and the limited menu they have to choose from, they begin to ask the question:

Is it better to get these critical amino acids through food or supplementation?

Well, I’m putting the finishing touches on this video and will have it posted in a couple of days.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

P.S. Here is the URL for the chart I used in the information above:

http://www.dietaryfiberfood.com/larginine-high.php

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this article about L-Arginine and L-Citrulline 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.