CAD nitric oxide, l-argenine & l-citrulline

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CAD, nitric oxide, L-Argenine and L-Cirulline
Drs. Louis J Ignarro, Robert Furchgott and Ferid Murad shared nobel prize for discovering the nitric oxide. In the arteries, the innermost layer of cells releases nitric oxide (NO). NO dilates smooth muscle cells of the arteries. Thus, blood flows more freely through them, more so during exercise. Short acting Nitroglycerin works similarly by releasing NO in heart and relieve chest pains.
NO is a very short acting gas constantly being produced in the body.
Animal: Red meat, poultry & fish
Vegetable, nuts & fruits: Olive, bean, soy, beats, artichokes, root vegetables, nuts, brown rice, pomegranate. melon
Moderate exercise
Neutraceuticals: L-argrenine & i-cetrulline.
Herbs: Danshen & Chin Gin Cai

The Mediterranean people have a low incidence of cardiovascular disease, may be due to diet they eat promote nitric acid production and so, become resistant to disease.

Antioxidants, Vitamins C and E improve and help sustain Nitric Oxide levels.

It is almost impossible to consume enough of these foods to maintain healthy levels.

The solution?


Regular exercise


Classification of Vegetables According to Nitrate Content (mg/kg FW).

Classification of Vegetables According to Nitrate Content

Santamaria, P. Nitrate in vegetables: toxicity, content, intake and EC regulation, Journal of the science of food and agriculture
86:10–17; 2006.
There are nutraceutical products are sold in the market with an aim to produce NO in the heart.
Niteworks (formulated by Dr. Ignarro) manufactured by Herbalife , HeartBar by Unither Pharma Inc., Neosenis-Neo 40 and many others.

NO mechanism of action:

Nitric oxide is a soluble gas. It is synthesized by the endothelium.

Functions: Maintains-

a) vascular homeostasis,

b) vascular dilator tone

c) local cell growth,

d) protection of the vessel from Injurious effects of platelets and other circulating contents in blood.

Effects of diminished nitric oxide release:

a) constriction of coronary arteries during exercise or during mental stress

b) contribute to myocardial ischemia in patients with coronary artery disease.

c) vascular inflammation leading to lipoproteins oxidation and foam cell formation, and ultimately atherosclerotic plaque formation.5

NO is produced in the endothelium (lining) of blood vessels. It relaxes smooth muscle of the blod vessels and dilate their lumen. Increase blood flows through the vessels result.This prevents fatty deposits (plaque) from sticking to blood vessel walls, preventing them from getting too thick, stiff, and narrow.

When endothelium is damaged, all materials for plaque stick to the vessel wall making it thick, stiff and narrow.

locations where produced

Endothelial NO synthase, an enzyme helps in the synthesis of NO

i.ENDOTHELIUM- The lining of the blood vessels, the production site of NO.

ii. a) Nerve cells eg penile erectile tissue, activated by neural N
O synthase, as NO produced enters and relax the smooth muscle of the penis. More blood accumulates in the penis and erection takes place.

b) Brain nerve cells: release of NO improve memory, learning and behavior modification.

iii) White blood cells : Defense system of body associated with immune function and attaking foreign invaders enter the body.

c) Lung nerve cells - causes airways dilatation

NO under production causes: Damaged endothelium


i. Aging.

ii. Unhealthy lifestyle

iii. Illness: Atherosclerosis, high BP, heart disease, heart failure, stroke, diabetes

iv. Toxic environment

v. Genetics

vi. Too vigorous exercise

vi) Over 40 years of age.


Damage of the endothelium may cause diminished release of nitric oxide either due to impaired synthesis or excessive oxidative degradation.

Diminished NO production can be caused by:



High cholesterol

High blood pressure

High homocysteine

High lipoprotein


Lack of exercise,



Intensive dieting leading to

Loose weight

Exercise & relaxation


Drugs: aspirin and statins.

"NO relaxes and enlarges the blood vessels, prevents blood clots that trigger strokes and heart attacks, and regulates blood pressure and the accumulation of plaque in the blood vessels..... Nitric Oxide may help lower cholesterol by facilitating the actions of statin drugs like Lipitor..." (22)

NO producing products should be taken at night as NO production is at its lowest then.

Natuaral sources of L-Arginine

Nuts: Peanuts, walnuts, brazilnuts, almond,walnut

Fruits: Coconut
Dairy: Milk and milk products.

Fish: Salmon, tuna, and mackerel

Meats: Pork, beef, chicken, turkey, and seafood

Cereals: oats and wheat.

Legumes: Soybean, other beans, and chickpea

Coca: Chocolate


Saturated fat: Saturated fat can reduce endothelial function almost in half temporarily.

Exercise. The increased blood flow occurs and leads the endothelium to make more NO.

Long term effects of exercise:

a) Endothelial cells releases more NO.

b) Produces more enzyme that converts arginine into NO.

Rich natural sources of L-arginine. (23-25)

Moderate exercise induces NO in the endothelium but not heavy exercise.


Top 20 food items highest in arginine content.obtained from L-arginine: Arginine in Foods

Dr. Louis Ignarro Explains Nitric Oxide (2/2) - YouTube


Dr. Ignarro Nitric Oxide Interview 3 - YouTube 15, 2008 - 9 min
Rank Food items Arginine content (g/100 g edible portion)
1 Seeds, sesame flour, low-fat 7.44
2 Seeds, cottonseed flour, low fat (glandless) 6.73
4 Soy protein isolate, potassium type 6.67
5 Soy protein isolate, potassium type, crude protein basis 6.67
6 Soy protein isolate 6.67
7 Seeds, cottonseed meal, partially defatted (glandless) 6.63
8 Gelatins, dry powder, unsweetened 6.62
9 Soy protein isolate, PROTEIN TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, ProPlus 6.50
10 Peanut flour, defatted 6.24
11 Seeds, sesame flour, partially defatted 5.98
12 Seeds, cottonseed flour, partially defatted (glandless) 5.53
13 Seeds, pumpkin and squash seed kernels, roasted, without salt 5.42
14 Seeds, pumpkin and squash seed kernels, roasted, with salt added 5.42
15 Seeds, sunflower seed flour, partially defatted 5.07
16 Mollusks, whelk, unspecified, cooked, moist heat 4.94
17 Seeds, watermelon seed kernels, dried 4.90
18 Nuts, butternuts, dried 4.86
19 Snacks, pork skins, plain 4.84
20 Egg, white, dried, powder, glucose reduced 4.81
1. BOOK: "NO More Heart Disease: How Nitric Oxide Can Prevent--Even Reverse--Heart Disease and Strokes
By Louis J. Ignarro, Louis Ignarro - St. Martin's Press (2006) - Paperback - 272 pages - ISBN 0312335822
3. Nitric Oxide Now -- Ask Me HowSome Find Nobel Laureate's Alliance With Supplement Marketer Hard to Swallow

By Christopher Wanjek
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, October 7, 2003; Page HE01

4. Heart Disease Risk Factor #1: Nitric Oxide

4. Herbalife

5. Richard O. Cannon III. Role of nitric oxide in cardiovascular disease: focus on the endothelium, Clinical Chemistry August 1998 vol. 44 no. 8 1809-1819
Providing unbiased reviews of all nitric oxide supplements or pre workout supplements from BSN, Muscletech, USP Labs, Universal and many mor
A non-essential amino acid,first isolated in 1930 from water mellon.[1],
It is a potent precursor to arginine. 80% argenine is utilized in liver and kidneys. 20% is avaible for cardiovascuklar need.
As citrulline can be converted to argenine in vessels cell, more argenine can be converted from citrulline, thus more NO.
The suggested ratio is 3 argenine to 1 citrulline for NO production.
Latent herpes and similar viruses can flare up on argenine therapy.

"....Watermelon supplementation improves aortic hemodynamics through a decrease in the amplitude of the reflected wave in individuals with prehypertension."3

L-arginine side effects:3

hypertensive adults, nausea, gastrointestinal tract discomfort, and diarrhea.

Watermelon has abundant vitamin A, B6, C, fiber, potassium and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Watermelon may reduce serum glucose .3

Other sources of citrulline: 4
Fish, meat, poultry and dairy.

l-Citrulline and l-arginine supplementation retards the progression of high-cholesterol-diet-induced atherosclerosis in rabbits.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Sep 20;102(38):13681-6. Epub 2005 Sep 12

3. Arturo Figueroa, Marcos A. Sanchez-Gonzalez, Penelope M. Perkins-Veazie and Bahram H. Arjmandi.

Effects of Watermelon Supplementation on Aortic Blood Pressure and Wave Reflection in Individuals With Prehypertension: A Pilot Study. American Journal of Hypertension 24, 40-44 (January 2011).



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