Nitric Oxide is a “wonder drug” that is produced inside your body. This substance rose to fame in 1992, being named Molecule of the Year by the journal Science. A few years later, the three primary scientists studying the molecule won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. How did this molecule- which most of us haven’t heard about- rise to such international acclaim? Let’s take a look at what Nitric Oxide does.
Nitric Oxide is a vasodilator. This means that it causes your blood vessels to open and allow more blood flow through. The cells and tissues of your body receive nutrients from fresh blood flow to an area. If an area becomes blood deprived in any way then your tissue will begin to wither and die. An extreme example of this is a heart attack. Heart attacks happen when the heart itself has not been fed properly and part of the heart muscle tissue dies, rendering the heart unable to do its job.
Because of its ability to open up blood vessels and deliver nutrients to our body’s tissues, Nitric Oxide has been found to have the following benefits:
- Help memory and behavior
- Assist the immune system
- Regulate blood pressure
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve sleep
- Increase your recognition of sense (taste, smell, etc.)
- Increase endurance and strength
- Help digestion
- Support healthy sexual function (drugs like Viagra stimulate your body to release Nitric Oxide)
That’s quite a list with some pretty far-reaching health effects!
Your body can be stimulated and supported in producing Nitric Oxide in a few different ways. First, you must support your body through diet. L-Arginine is the protein building block that’s needed to produce Nitric Oxide. Foods high in Arginine include:
- Meat sources such as: turkey, chicken, shrimp, lobster, and tuna
- Legumes like chickpeas or peanuts
- Greens such as spinach, arugula, kale, and other leafy greens
- Raw dairy sources such as raw cheese or yogurt
Additionally, there are some foods that will stimulate Nitric Oxide production in the body:
- Raw Cacao
- Cannabidiol (CBD Oil)
Exercise has also been shown to naturally increase Nitric Oxide levels- not surprisingly, for those of you who’ve been paying attention! Exercise places a load on your cells as your muscles ask for more blood. This causes your tissue to release Nitric Oxide in response to the demand for more blood.
However, in the case of Peripheral Neuropathy, exercise becomes out of the question. PN patients are dealing with severe pain and balance issues, causing regular exercise to become more of a dream than a reality. For these people, we have to look to other sources. Thankfully, recent research has given us a few options.
- Infrared Therapy: this painless therapy has been shown to increase the body’s own release of Nitric Oxide while you relax.
- L-Arginine Supplements: taking the basic building blocks for Nitric Oxide supports the body’s ability to produce the molecule as needed.
The bottom line: Nitric Oxide can play an important role as part of a healing protocol for Peripheral Neuropathy. It’s just one part of the program we’re introducing at The Peripheral Neuropathy Relief Center at HealthWorks. Together with the other treatments, we finally have a powerful non-drug option for Peripheral Neuropathy sufferers. If you have Peripheral Neuropathy or know someone who does, please call today for more information. 469-543-4193 or 972-612-1800.
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