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When plaque builds up in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, you reduce your capacity to produce nitric oxide, which is why physicians prescribe nitroglycerin for heart and stroke patients.Viagra and other impotence medications work due to their action on the nitric oxide pathway.
The most common way to increase nitric oxide is through exercise.
When you run or lift weights, your muscles need more oxygen which is supplied by the blood.
Citrulline is then recycled back into arginine, making even more nitric oxide.
Enzymes that convert arginine to citrulline, and citrulline to arginine need to function optimally for efficient nitric oxide production.
Little did he know nitroglycerin acts by releasing nitric oxide which relaxes narrowed blood vessels, increasing oxygen and blood flow.
The interior surface (endothelium) of your arteries produce nitric oxide.
We can protect those enzymes and nitric oxide by consuming healthy foods and antioxidants, like fruit, garlic, soy, vitamins C and E, Co-Q10, and alpha lipoic acid, allowing you to produce more nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide only lasts a few seconds in the body, so the more antioxidant protection we provide, the more stable it will be and the longer it will last.
Another way to increase nitric oxide is through diet, most notably by consuming the amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline.
Arginine, which can be found in nuts, fruits, meats and dairy, and directly creates nitric oxide and citrulline inside the cell (diagram 1).