Promotes Heart Health
Animal studies suggest nitric oxide promotes heart health in several different ways. In addition to reducing blood pressure, it reduces the stiffness of the arteries and increases blood flow in the carotid arteries. A 2003 study conducted on animals at Johns Hopkins found that nitric oxide blocked the release of inflammatory compounds, and it also reduced the stickiness of platelets in the blood. When platelets are less sticky, they are less likely to clump together into a dangerous blood clot that could cause a heart attack or stroke. Recent research published in 2014 examined the effectiveness of nitric oxide supplementation in patients with high blood pressure. Thirty participants were involved in the study, and there was a treatment group and a control group. Patients assigned to the treatment group consumed an oral lozenge that generated nitric oxide within the body; those in the control group received a placebo. Approximately twenty minutes after the lozenge was taken, subjects in the treatment group had a reduction of four mmHg in systolic blood pressure and a reduction of five mmHg in diastolic blood pressure. At the sixty-minute mark, systolic and diastolic readings were both decreased by six mmHg. Vascular compliance improved after thirty minutes, and endothelial function improved after four hours. Impaired endothelial function contributes to the hardening and stiffening of the arteries, increasing the risk for heart attacks and strokes. Patients who have risk factors for heart disease may want to talk to their physician about increasing their nitric oxide.
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