Our Doctor “NO” – yes!

Sometimes it is fun to play with words like “NO.” Yes?

Or allow me to explain…

Doctor NO, in Ian Fleming’s 1958 book, was a scientific madman who wanted to destroy our U.S. space program.  Thank goodness that Sean Connery and Ursula Andress just happened to come along to confront and beat that villain!  Incidentally, that enduring Agent 007 probably benefitted from the chemical compound “N-O” for his impressive actions.

Two of our body’s most prevalent (and essential@) elements are Nitrogen (N) and Oxygen – chemical symbol O (bodily percentages are below)

O – 65%

(C 18.5%)

(H 9.5%)

N – 3.2%

A key bioproduct for MANY organisms – not just homo sapiens, a chemically bonded N=O molecule supports nutrient delivery to cells for metabolism/movement.

Experts have a fancy name for this delivery support; endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF).  EDRF IS a good four-letter word. trust your Koach.

Two mechanisms for gaining in our bodies are:

  1. L-arginine (amino acid conversion to N+O) internally when normal.
  2. Conversion of nitrates [ Not preservative Sodium Nitrates] from green leafy vegetables (Popeye!)

– One credible study suggests we Americans ingest only ½ of the health-forming nitrates we need ☹.

AND a sad bummer – N=O production notably notable drop-offs with age  (if we allow it)

As in an estimated 10-12% loss of yield per decade (aging, oxidative stress, lack of exercise, smoking…

Further, some mouthwashes, antibiotics, NSAIDs, and antacids inhibit our N=O conversion (from both L-arginine and nitrates).  OY! Modern life…

BE in the NO!  Blood tests do not readily help us understand our vasodilation effectiveness.

Journal of Nutrition nbci.nlm.nih.gov

Supplemental Citrulline (which is a non-essential amino acid) is “much” more efficient than oral arginine supplementation for increasing arginine! Arginine is hard to extract…at least for mice studies…  Less gut side effects too…

A Minimum daily requirement – or recommended daily ingestion of Citrulline is ~3-6 grams per day.

Watermelon, cucumbers, pumpkins are fine natural sources of Citrulline.  This N=O enabler isn’t used to build proteins by our bodily system, only to help convert arginine.

“May” support GH rise after exercise.

 

There are skeptics, and rightly so.  More research and study is required before we can say with confidence what true benefits are.

“May impact muscle synthesis” in a good way and also decrease a-a breakdown.

L-Citrulline (endurance) and also Citrulline Malate (more common in Strength/bodybuilding supplements) – can possibly boost performance if ingested ~1 hour before lifting.

It is important for KaBoomers to consider that Citrulline “may improve oxygen usage in exercising muscle” after a week or more of ingestion.

How can a KBoomer get his/her N=O naturally?

Natural vegetables – that are high in NITRATES – beetroot, spinach, arugula – leverage our bodily enzyme conversion to N=O to lower BP (by a few ticks…)and bump aerobic performance. Flavonoids in fruits can also support N=O production, to a lesser degree.

Vasodilation, Nitric Oxide’s key role in O2 delivery to our muscles while exerting/performing.

This “intermediary” signaling as (N=O)  is also reported to regulate our brain, kidney, liver, and lungs as metabolically active tissues!  Trivial point – Nitric Oxide (N=O) Molecule of the Year 1992, and focus on Nobel Prize for Physiology in 1998.

 

This “free radical” gas is thankfully different than its near cousins’ nitrous oxide (laughing gas for dentistry) and nitrogen dioxide ( a major air pollutant). What a difference a chemical bond can make for free radicals!

This is an issue for folks with diabetes!

Then there’s a little issue of erectile dysfunction for some guys,

Muscle soreness,

Blood pressure readings

And possibly a favorable shift in insulin sensitivity for better control of one’s blood sugar.

N=O has a credible status as a “generally safe” supplement – from beet juice (red urine or stools a possibility)

  • “High” L arginine dosages (for diabetics?) may lead to stomach discomfort or diarrhea

->  See a Doctor before embarking on a self-regimented supplement program -please!

Bottom line?

N=O relaxes our circulatory pipes to lower blood pressure and decreases demand (for that exertion) for our ventricular pump and skeletal muscles.

Again, one amino acid – L-Citrulline “may be worthwhile,” – placebo or otherwise, for improved athletic and sexual performance with relevance to Doctor N=O. I am doing a 1-person study 😊.

Be an informed and healthy KaBoomer – with more N=Os encouraged.

df

About defpersonaltrainer

Elite Masters rower, Master Fitness trainer, a Baby KaBoomer whom advocates wellness through toe-to-temple activities like a sport well-oared.
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