15, 2008 - 9 min
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
ii. Unhealthy lifestyle
iii. Illness: Atherosclerosis, high BP, heart disease, heart failure, stroke, diabetes
iv. Toxic environment
vi. Too vigorous exercise
vi) Over 40 years of age.
CAUSES OF HEART DISEASE
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 blood pressure
Lack of exercise,
RESTORING DAMAGED ENDOTHELIUM
Intensive dieting leading to
Exercise & relaxation
Drugs: aspirin and statins.
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 (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
Dairy: Milk and milk products.
Fish: Salmon, tuna,
Meats: Pork, beef, chicken, turkey, and seafood
Cereals: oats and wheat.
Legumes: Soybean, other beans, and chickpea
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
||Arginine content (g/100 g edible portion)|
sesame flour, low-fat
cottonseed flour, low fat (glandless)
protein isolate, PROTEIN TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, SUPRO
protein isolate, potassium type
protein isolate, potassium type, crude protein basis
cottonseed meal, partially defatted (glandless)
dry powder, unsweetened
protein isolate, PROTEIN TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, ProPlus
sesame flour, partially defatted
cottonseed flour, partially defatted (glandless)
pumpkin and squash seed kernels, roasted, without salt
pumpkin and squash seed kernels, roasted, with salt added
sunflower seed flour, partially defatted
whelk, unspecified, cooked, moist heat
watermelon seed kernels, dried
pork skins, plain
white, dried, powder, glucose reduced
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 WanjekSpecial to The Washington Post
7, 2003; Page HE01
4. Heart Disease Risk Factor #1: Nitric Oxide
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
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.,
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.