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What is Nitric Oxide

Nitric oxide (NO) is considered one of the most important molecules naturally produced by the human body. In fact, Nitric Oxide is so important, a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded in 1998 to the three US scientists responsible for its discovery. 

Nitric Oxide is a major contributor to aging and disease
Loss of Nitric Oxide (NO) is one of the most important contributors to aging and age-related disease. It is a cell-signaling molecule responsible for many important and essential cellular functions including acting as a vasodilator and regulating oxygen delivery.  Our endothelial cells, the cells that line the interior surface of our blood vessels, are the main source of NO production.  Endothelial NO production is what maintains the integrity of our endothelium.  Loss of NO is referred to as endothelial dysfunction.  Every major chronic disease is characterized by endothelial dysfunction.

Nitric oxide is also important in our immune system. NO produced by macrophages and neutrophils is responsible for killing invading pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. 

"Well vascularized tissues are more resistant to infections and capable of localizing/containing offending agents.

By contrast, poorly vascularized tissues are relatively inefficient in responding to inflammatory stimuli."


Robbins Pathology book page 58

Nitric Oxide is a powerful Anti-Microbial and Anti-Viral therapeutic

A 2005 study concludes that Nitric Oxide prevented viral replication in SARS patients. This led to a current study of the Nitric Oxide's anti-viral properties for COVID 19. Nitric Oxide innovations is seeking approval to fast track an Oral Nitric Oxide therapeutic in the fight against COVID 19 in African Americans.


Nitric Oxide Inhibits the Replication Cycle of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus

Sara Åkerström, Mehrdad Mousavi-Jazi, J

DOI: 10.1128/JVI.79.3.1966-1969.2005


Nitric oxide (NO) is an important signaling molecule between cells which has been shown to

have an inhibitory effect on some virus infections. The purpose of this study was to examine

whether NO inhibits the replication cycle of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS CoV) in vitro.


We found that an organic NO donor, S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine,

significantly inhibited the replication cycle of SARS CoV in a concentration-dependent manner.

We also show here that NO inhibits viral protein and RNA synthesis. Furthermore, we demonstrate

that NO generated by inducible nitric oxide synthase, an enzyme that produces NO, inhibits the

SARS CoV replication cycle.

The Science

There are two ways the body normally produces Nitric Oxide (NO). One is from the amino acid L-arginine. The enzyme nitric oxide synthase that converts L-arginine into nitric oxide becomes uncoupled and dysfunctional over time. In fact, we lose about 10-12% of our endothelial function per decade.  Endothelial dysfunction is the earliest event in the onset and progression of most, if not all, chronic diseases.

The other pathway to make nitric oxide is from inorganic nitrate and nitrite found naturally in some foods, particularly green leafy vegetables.  However, this is dependent upon eating enough green leafy vegetables that contain sufficient nitrate.  It is estimated that a typical Western diet only contains about 150mg of nitrate. We need about 300-400 mg per day to make sufficient nitric oxide. Therefore most people are not getting sufficient nitric oxide from their diet. Furthermore, there are many lifestyle choices and commonly used products that completely shut down nitric oxide production from this pathway.  The use of anti-septic mouthwash disrupts the oral microbiome responsible for nitrate reduction to NO.  Over 200 million Americans use daily mouthwash.  Evidence reveals mouthwash disrupts NO production and causes an increase in blood pressure.  The use of antacids, specifically proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) also inhibits NO production from both pathways.  There are over 200 million prescriptions written for antacids every year.  This puts most Americans deficient in NO.  It is no longer a mystery why 2 out of 3 Americans have an unsafe elevation in blood pressure. 



Nitric Oxide Production Decreases with Age

Nitric oxide production declines naturally over time.  This is dependent on diet and lifestyle with some genetic predisposition. By the age of 40, on average, our bodies produce about half the nitric oxide production we had when we were in our late teens and early twenties. This is due to many factors including aging, oxidative stress, poor diet, lack of physical exercise, smoking, diabetes, high sugar diet, certain drug therapy, etc. all resulting in endothelial dysfunction and the progression of disease. 


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