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The benefits of Nitric Oxide


From diabetes to hypertension, cancer to drug addiction, stroke to intestinal motility, memory and learning disorders to septic shock, sunburn to anorexia, male impotence to tuberculosis, there is probably no pathological condition where nitric oxide does not play an important role. Only recently (within the last 18 years) discovered as a product of enzymatic synthesis in mammals, there are more than 73,000 scientific papers dealing with this remarkable molecule with most of these published within the last five years.


Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry. Although one of the simplest biological molecules in nature, nitric oxide has found its way into nearly every phase of biology and medicine ranging from its role as a critical endogenous regulator of blood flow and thrombosis to a principal neurotransmitter mediating erectile function to a major pathophysiological mediator of inflammation and host defense. These major discoveries have stimulated intense and extensive research into a vast array of fields including chemistry, molecular biology, and gene therapy.


What is it and where does it come from?


Nitric Oxide is a free form gas that is produced in the body and is used by the body to communicate with other cells in the body. To produce this gas, enzymes in the body break down the amino acid Arginine.


Nitric Oxide is a molecule consisting of one atom of nitrogen and one atom of oxygen. The production of Nitric Oxide occurs when the amino acid L-arginine is converted into L-citruline through an enzyme group known as Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS).


New Study: Nitric Oxide Deficiency Raises Cardiovascular Disease Risk in African Americans Ohio University, USA


ATHENS, Ohio - African Americans suffer from cardiovascular diseases at a rate about five times higher than the rest of the U.S. population. In a new study, scientists may have found a culprit: a serious deficiency of nitric oxide, a small molecule vital in the regulation of blood flow and blood pressure.


The research team, led by Ohio University biochemist Tadeusz Malinski, examined the blood vessel cells of 12 white and 12 black healthy female subjects. Using a system of nanosensors, they discovered that the cardiovascular systems of African-American subjects as young as 20 years of age could show signs of an unbalanced nitric oxide system that could become increasingly worse as they grow older, according to research published in a recent issue of Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.


"What we found was the basic mechanism of the cardiovascular dysfunctions at the molecular level," said Malinski, the Marvin and Ann Dilley White Professor of Biochemistry at Ohio University.


In the early 1990s, Malinski, a leading expert on nitric oxide and its physiological functions, developed nanosensors capable of detecting the nitric oxide and other molecules in single cells and neurons. Nitric oxide performs critical functions throughout the body, but survives only a few seconds after it is created by cells and neurons. Malinski and other researchers have since proven that nitric oxide is a fundamental regulator of bodily functions -- such as blood pressure, beating of the heart and the relaxation of blood vessels -- and that imbalance between levels of nitric oxide and oxidative stress can be a sign of dysfunction and disease.


In the new study, the scientist found that the cardiovascular system of black subjects has more enzymes to produce nitric oxide and can be more efficient than those of white subjects. However, black subjects did not produce enough of the amino acid L-arginin to complete the process of nitric oxide production. Instead the enzyme produces another oxidative molecule, superoxide, which reacts with nitric oxide to create an even more powerful and damaging oxidant, peroxynitrite.


Peroxynitrite not only attacks cell DNA and RNA, making black subjects more susceptible to cancer and various dysfunctions, but it gobbles up ever-increasing amounts of nitric oxide, which can lead to hardening of the blood vessels, increase of blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. As the balance in the system shifts to greater amounts of peroxynitrite relative to nitric oxide, the danger of cardiovascular dysfunctions and diseases increases as well, said Malinski, whose research was supported in part by Ohio University's Marvin and Ann Dilley White Professorship Endowment.


"At the age of 20, you have perhaps twice as much of these oxidants as in other ethnic groups, and that causes an acceleration of aging and the dysfunction of the entire cardiovascular system," Malinski said. "The final outcome is a heart attack or stroke."


Malinski and his colleagues argue, however, that this new understanding of nitric oxide and related molecules' behavior in the African-American cardiovascular system can point to better treatment and prevention of diseases.


"What is amazing is that this system has a great potential to produce nitric oxide and can be corrected very efficiently and at a relatively early age," he said. "Based on our research, a diagnosis of this dysfunction of the system will be possible -- probably very soon -- and will be treatable with some existing cardiovascular drugs."


The research also opens the door for the development of new drugs designed specifically to maintain healthy levels of nitric oxide in the cardiovascular system.


Collaborators on the study were Iwona Dobrucki, a graduate student in biochemistry, and Leszek Kalinowski, a postdoctoral fellow, both at Ohio University.


Pomegranate Juice protects nitric oxide
Pomegranate juice protects nitric oxide against oxidative destruction and enhances the biological actions of nitric oxide.
Nitric Oxide. 2006 Apr 18; Ignarro LJ, Byrns RE, Sumi D, de Nigris F, Napoli C. Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.
Pomegranate juice, a rich source of potent flavonoid antioxidants, was tested for its capacity to protect nitric oxide against oxidative destruction. Pomegranate juice was found to be a potent inhibitor of superoxide anion-mediated disappearance of NO. Pomegranate juice was much more potent than Concord grape juice, blueberry juice, red wine, ascorbic acid, and dl-alpha-tocopherol. These observations indicate that pomegranate juice possesses potent antioxidant activity that results in marked protection of nitric oxide against oxidative destruction, thereby resulting in augmentation of the biological actions of NO.


Other studies have uncovered the antioxidants in pomegranate juice might be responsible for plaque reduction on artery walls and play a part in reducing oxidative stress on endothelial cells (the cells that line the blood vessels), producing nitric oxide, which helps the blood vessels relax. It was discovered that the heart cells of mice that were given pomegranate juice had a 50 percent increase in nitric oxide and nearly a 30 percent reduction in plaque.


Dr. Mercola's Comments on Pomegranate Juice:

Pomegranate history dates as far back as 3,000 BC. The pomegranate has been heralded for its sweet taste as well as its vivid color and now this study has confirmed that pomegranates deserve similar praise as the antioxidant-rich berries. Many fruits have seeds that are loaded with powerful antioxidants that quelch free radicals and help prevent nearly every chronic degenerative disease.


However, despite all the health benefits of pomegranates its important to understand that when you juice a fruit you tend to concentrate the sugars and this has the potential to increase your insulin levels. When the fruit is intact and whole, its fiber will somewhat moderate the release of fructose as well as insulin into the bloodstream. Since 85 percent or so of the American population already struggles with this issue, it is clear that most people should avoid juices, even healthy ones like pomegranate juice.


Researchers stated that the two main problems with pomegranate consumption are that they are pricey and not the easiest fruit to find.


So, of-course at The Fountainhead we created a solution - CardioFlow is a great alternative, economical, easy to find, no sugar and thus good for diabetics. 2 capsules daily provide perfect pomegranate extracts and assist the body in nitric oxide production as well as provide a huge amount of anti-oxidants.


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