THE SELF-CORRECTING PROPERTIES OF NITRIC OXIDE: SO COMPLEX YET SO SIMPLE
Every day our body is bombarded with an infinite number of insults.
These come from the foods we eat, the air we breathe, electro-magnetic fields, water we drink and bathe in, prescription drugs, vaccines and other things. Despite these many insults, there are only three finite responses from our body.
These three finite responses are:
- Oxidative stress
- Immune dysfunction
When our body is healthy and these three responses are under normal control, our body deals with the insults, repairs and heals the damage that results.
It is when there is uncontrolled inflammation that results in increased oxidative stress and eventual immune dysfunction that our body starts to break down and disease sets in.
Every major chronic human disease is characterized by these three responses that never shut off. In order to combat, or more importantly, prevent any of the chronic diseases above, one must understand how to control inflammation, oxidative stress and immune dysfunction.
It just so happens one molecule has been scientifically and clinically proven to do all three.
That molecule is nitric oxide. Let’s explore each in detail.
Inflammation refers to your body’s process of fighting against things that harm it, like infections, injuries, and toxins, in an attempt to heal itself.
Signs of inflammation refers to the heat (calor), pain (dolor), redness (rubor), and swelling (tumor) that characterize the clinical symptoms of inflammation as they were defined in the first century AD by the Roman scholar Celsus.
This can be easily witnessed if you have a splinter in your finger. It turns red, it hurts, it has heat and swells up.
This also occurs internally in individual organs.
The first stages of inflammation is when immune cells and platelets start to stick to the lining of the blood vessels. This causes a disruption in blood flow, activation of immune cells and production of oxygen radicals that causes oxidative stress.
Nitric oxide has been shown to inhibit the earliest stages of microvascular inflammation.
If you can turn on nitric oxide production during earliest stages of inflammation you can control the inflammatory response as intended.
Without nitric oxide production, the inflammation does not turn off and chronic inflammation occurs and chronic inflammation contributes to every major chronic disease.
As shown above, the photo on the left is a picture of an inflammed blood vessel with lots of immune cells stuck to the lining of the blood vessel.
You can see the lumen of the blood vessel is narrow. The photo on the right is the inflammed blood vessel treated with a nitric oxide donor. There are less immune cells stuck to the lining of the blood vessel and the lumen is wider, more open for better blood flow.
Nitric oxide is critical for controlling inflammation
Oxygen radicals are produced in normal physiological processes. This is an important physiological response as it tells our body to upregulate its anti-oxidant defense systems.
However when our oxidative stress overcomes our anti-oxidative defense systems, this causes tissue and cellular damage.
There are three main sources of oxidative stress in the body.
1. NADPH Oxidase. This is an enzyme found in immune cells that generate oxygen radicals in response to bacterial or viral infections that help kill the pathogens. The acute oxidative response is necessary. Again when it continues to generate oxygen radical in the absence of infection, this causes damage. Nitric oxide has been shown to inhibit NADPH oxidase production of free radicals and protect tissue from damage.
2. Uncoupled mitochondrial electron transport chain. Our cells make energy through our mitochondria from utilizaiton of oxygen. When these enzymes become uncoupled, they generate superoxide and other oxygen radicals. Therefore, we must re-couple these enzyme so they can more effeciently generate energy and produce less oxygen radicals. Nitric oxide is known to recouple mitochondria and improve oxygen utilization for more efficient energy production.
3. Nitric oxide synthase enzyme. The enzyme that actually makes nitric oxide can become dysfunctional and produce oxygen radicals instead. We call this endothelial dysfunction. Endothelial dysfunction is the earliest event in the onset and progression of all chronic disease. You can restore endothelial function and nitric oxide production by eating nitrate rich green leafy vegetables, exercising regularly and getting plenty of sunlight. There are also nitric oxide supplements that have been shown to restore endothelial function.
When your body cannot make nitric oxide, all three normal responses become uncontrolled and chronic disease sets in.
When you restore your ability to produce nitric oxide, everything self corrects.
Nitric oxide reduces inflammation, reduces oxidative stress and improves the body’s ability to heal and repair.
Immune dysfunction is when your immune system does not work as intended.
Our immune system begins to modify and oxidize fats and lipids causing plaque and fat to deposit in the lining of our blood vessels. Over time this oxidized fat causes further inflammation. It is inflammation that causes these plaques to rupture causing heart attacks and strokes.
Nitric oxide prevents oxidation of fats, prevents plaque from being deposited in your blood vessels and suppresses the inflammation that causes heart attacks and strokes.
As you can see from above, if you simply fix your nitric oxide production, the nitric oxide does everything else.
It prevents the inflammation, oxidative stress and immune dysfunction that causes chronic disease.
However, you must also limit your exposure to toxins and habits that disrupt nitric oxide production.
Drink and bathe in good clean water, limit your exposure to environmental toxins, avoid mouthwash and fluoride toothpaste, avoid antacids, eat lots of green leafy vegetables, get exericse and get outside.
Nothing is more important for your health than ensuring your body makes enough nitric oxide.
More than 170,000 scientific publications reveal just how important this molecule is.
Without it, you get sick and disease.
With it, you have good health, free of disease. It’s that simple.