There are many nitric oxide products now on the market and it can be very confusing for patients and consumers. Because NO deficiency is most commonly caused by a dysfunctional enzyme that converts L-arginine to nitric oxide, taking an L-arginine supplement is not the best strategy. The underlying problem in people with “endothelial dysfunction” and NO deficiency is the inability to utilize L-arginine to make NO so giving more L-arginine makes no sense biochemically. We have recently discovered that functional foods can be used to make NO. Foods rich in dietary nitrate and/or nitrite are converted to NO in the body when consumed. We create foods and supplements with a purpose and a dedicated function. Just like all supplements are not created equal, all foods or food ingredients are not created equal. Just because a product may contain beet root extract or kale on the label does not mean that it contains sufficient nitrite and/or nitrate to experience a nitric oxide benefit. So how do you know if a nitric oxide product is a true NO product that actually works? I encourage everyone to ask yourself 4 important questions when considering the purchase of any dietary supplement or functional nutritional product.
- Does the actual product have any published clinical trials in humans? Clinical trials are expensive and risky so you must have confidence that your product works. Very few companies actually put their product to the ultimate test in clinical trials.
- Does the product have any issued patents? Innovation and product superiority can be distinguished by issued patents.
- Is the technology licensed from a reputable University or Medical School? This will ensure there was actually research and some intellectual property on the product or product technology. Any company or doctor can put ingredients together but it does not mean there is science or any valid research to back it.
- Has the formulator or scientists behind the product ever published in the nitric oxide literature? The field of nitric oxide is very complicated and complex biochemistry. This requires expertise to know how to deliver bioactive NO in humans