Men are interested in the best ways to boost nitric oxide naturally, largely because they are marketed for male sexual performance enhancement and exercise performance enhancement. In fact, erectile dysfunction treatments like Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis work to help your nitric oxide stick around and accumulate in the penis to provide stronger erections!
Nitric oxide – (NO) has many functions in the body but the focus of this article is nitric oxide’s function as a signaling molecule that relaxes the small muscles in our blood vessels, allowing increased blood flow through the vessel (in other words, NO is a vasodilator). In the case of the penis, when nitric oxide levels in the penis increase, the penile blood also increases and can lead to an erection. Sexual arousal signals this release of nitric oxide. That should give you all some motivation!
Decreased nitric oxide production is one of the common causes of erectile dysfunction. At the Innovative Men’s Clinic, we offer powerful nitric oxide promoters such as L-Arginine.
For our bodies to produce nitric oxide, various nutrients and precursors are necessary. This includes nitrates which are found in many foods, particularly green, leafy vegetables. We also get nitric oxide from an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase (NOS), whose function is enhanced by adequate testosterone levels. This is where the supplement L-arginine comes in. L-arginine can be converted into nitric oxide by the enzyme, NOS. In the example we used earlier, arousal plus more L-arginine in the penis results in more nitric oxide in the penile blood vessels and, subsequently, better erections. Of course, arousal is also an important aspect of obtaining a satisfying erection (perhaps the most important) and that requires healthy testosterone and estrogen balance.
Testosterone plays a very important role in hundreds of bodily functions, and nitric oxide production is one of them. Testosterone helps maintain the health of blood vessels (decreased inflammation and atherosclerosis – in fact, low testosterone promotes hardening of the arteries), which allows more efficient nitric oxide production and release from the blood vessel walls and thus better vasodilation, blood flow, and in the case of the penis, a firmer erection. Arteries coated in atherosclerotic plaques can’t release nitric oxide very well at all. As mentioned previously, testosterone also supports the NOS enzyme that produces nitric oxide.
IT MAY BE LOW TESTOSTERONELow testosterone may make getting or keeping an erection more difficult. Some men may notice a drop in libido while others may lose interest in sex completely. If your initial physical exam and blood test results show you have low testosterone, you may be a candidate for Testosterone Replacement Therapy LEARN MORE ABOUT LOW T
Exercise is another major contributor to improving nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide is needed in all of our tissues that require extra oxygen during exercise, thus exercise promotes and “exercises” the nitric oxide production systems. Of course, testosterone helps people feel like exercising and it helps maximize the benefits of exercise, including nitric oxide production.
That all may be a bit more than what most guys want to know about nitric oxide and L-arginine, but there are many other reasons to promote nitric oxide production in your body. It is imperative to cardiovascular, muscular, and brain function. You may have heard that the penis is a barometer for cardiovascular health and this is absolutely true! Often, it is erectile problems that are the first sign of cardiovascular disease. Anything that improves true erectile health such as a NO enhancing diet, hormone balancing (I am not talking about pharmaceuticals here), and exercise will also improve cardiovascular health.
Anything that improves true erectile health such as a NO enhancing diet, hormone balancing, and exercise will also improve cardiovascular health.
Beyond its function as a vasodilator, nitric oxide is also an important player in our immune system. It acts as a free radical oxidant to destroy viruses and bacteria and it triggers inflammation. You might have read about free radical oxidants and inflammation before. They are both normal parts of healing and fighting infection but in certain circumstances, they can become problematic. We need free radical oxidation and inflammation to heal after injuries and fight infections but if the process gets out of hand, it becomes uncomfortable and can lead to more serious illness.
As such, if you’re taking high doses of L-arginine, you’ll likely benefit from better blood flow, better erections, and a better “pump” at the gym. But if you’re taking too much, you will cause oxidative stress. The best way to avoid this is to get enough dietary antioxidants to balance out the oxidative potential from nitric oxide. Nature has provided a simple solution to this problem by including high amounts of antioxidants in foods that are high in nitrates. L-arginine as a supplement is a modern invention and breaks this rule (lots of nitric oxide and no antioxidants). There is the risk that people who take L-arginine long-term can deplete the levels of the antioxidant component of the vitamin E family. The solution here is to add a good quality mixed vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) supplement to take alongside the L-Arginine.
This article is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to nitric oxide. The doctors at Innovative Men’s Clinic© can provide a comprehensive plan for improving nitric oxide levels. But to make a long story short, the best way to boost nitric oxide naturally is to get lots of green, leafy vegetables, carrots, and beets in your diet, plenty of exercises, and to obtain optimal testosterone levels that are in balance with other hormones. It makes sense that some guys have gone out of their way and tried DIY for improving erectile dysfunction before seeing a doctor since L-arginine can be a good erectile dysfunction treatment for some mild cases. Testosterone is a very important player in the nitric oxide system, as well as hundreds of other bodily functions, but should be taken under the strict supervision of a licensed physician.
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It could be said that testosterone is what makes men, men. It gives them their characteristic deep voices, large muscles, and facial and body hair. It plays a role in sperm production, fuels libido, and contributes to normal erections. It also fosters the production of red blood cells, boosts mood, and aids cognition.