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Ever wondered what the hype is about nitric oxide?!

It's a cool little chemical that's linked to a huge number of health benefits, and the best thing is your body naturally produces it, especially given the right environment!!

Nitric oxide (NO) is different to nitrous oxide (laughing gas) even though they sound very similar..

It's a gas formed from nitrogen and oxygen, and is created by lightning, its also an environmental pollutant generated by industry

Yet in the body its vital for a number of functions, from circulation to preventing DNA damage!!

Nitric oxide: - improves blood flow and circulation to cells, organs and tissues - improves health of blood vessels, protecting the heart and stopping blood clots and artery blockages (ie heart attacks /strokes) - improves kidney and brain function (via blood flow) - reduces blood pressure - helps regulate a healthy immune balance (T cells) - improves athletic performance (due to tissue oxygenation) and reduces muscle soreness - is a vital neurotransmitter (esp in autonomic nervous system) - improves erectile function in men (viagra is based on this) - may improve blood sugar control - relaxes the gut muscles (reduces cramps etc) - it's even been linked to living longer as it reduces DNA damage (via reducing telomerase activity), improves mitochondrial function and even stimulates stem cell function to repair cell damage!!

It's difficult to measure NO levels accurately in the blood as it has a half life of seconds, but blood pressure is an indirect marker (lower blood pressure meaning higher levels)

Nitric oxide is produced by : - eating veges (esp green leafy veges, celery, and beetroot), which contain nitrates (converts to NO) - eating foods high in antioxidants (this stops breakdown of NO) ie fruits, veges, nuts, seeds, and grains - nasal breathing (NO is produced in nasal passages) - sunlight on skin (produces NO) - being kind to others (creates NO via oxytocin, loving kindness meditation has the same effect) - exercise (stimulates NO production in blood vessels) -limiting antibacterial mouthwash and soap (some bacteria in the mouth and skin produce NO)

It's so simple yet so important - why not try some of these methods today and see what difference it makes?!

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