Why Nitric Oxide is Good for You

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Nobel Laureate Ferid Murad steps out of the TV to explain why nitric oxide (NO), the explosive chemical in dynamite, can be good for you.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:
This video is very entertaining and great for audiences of all kinds, including kids. Aside from the great information it presents about nitric oxide, it’s a perfect video to get kids interested in the world of science.

For you adults, however, it’s the mystery of nitric oxide that you will likely find most intriguing.

Nitric oxide (NO) is an extremely important part of biochemical regulation, and understanding and controlling its formation has the potential for profound influences on your health.

NO is the explosive chemical in dynamite that, researchers discovered in the late 1980s, impacts your body in countless beneficial ways. Most notably, NO:
  • Protects your heart by relaxing your blood vessels and lowering your blood pressure
  • Stimulates your brain, which can impact behavior
  • Kills bacteria
  • Defends against tumor cells
What is interesting, though, is that NO is also found in cigarette smoke and car exhaust, and if you have too much of it in your body it’s very dangerous. This is because, in addition to being a natural antioxidant that is vital for your health, nitric oxide (NO) is also a potent nitrogen free radical.

It actually has the ability to kill neurons and is thought to cause much of the degeneration that occurs after strokes, and in some diseases of the nervous system.

You may have also heard of nitric oxide in relation to the impotence drug Viagra.

This drug was initially investigated as a potential anti-angina medication based on its ability to release nitric oxide and increase blood flow to your heart.

Viagra failed as a heart medication, but London researchers became very optimistic when many of the men in their clinical trials reported the frequent occurrence of unaccustomed erections, and improved sexual performance (which is not surprising considering that nitric oxide is essential for producing and maintaining an erection).

However, messing with the delicate balance of nitric oxide in your body by taking a pill like Viagra is not wise. Side effects related to the pill include blindness, heart attacks, and possibly infertility.

Getting back to the video, it’s one that is definitely worth passing on to your friends and family.

Even if you don’t find the function of nitric oxide in your body as fascinating as I do, this video will get you thinking about the vast intricacy of your body, and the way everything is so very intertwined.

It is certainly a motivating notion if you’ve been on the fence about starting your journey to health!
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