Nitric Oxide

Last Updated: August 17 2022

Nitric oxide (NO) is composed of nitrogen (N) and oxygen (O). The human body creates NO from dietary arginine and nitrate. NO plays a major signaling role in vascular relaxation, and elevated levels are associated with better blood flow and lower blood pressure.


The human body converts nitrate to nitric oxide (NO), which is a signaling molecule associated with several physiological functions involving blood pressure regulation, cardiovascular health, mitochondria production, calcium transport, oxidative stress, and skeletal muscle repair.[1] It plays a prominent role as a vasodilator, which means it relaxes blood vessels and improves blood flow.

Nitrate supplementation, whether in its pure form (e.g. sodium/potassium nitrate), or via foods (e.g. beetroot juice/powder), may temporarily reduce the body’s oxygen demand during exercise. A decrease in oxygen demand may result in improved exercise and muscular performance.[2][3]

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18.^Tochio H, Mok YK, Zhang Q, Kan HM, Bredt DS, Zhang MFormation of nNOS/PSD-95 PDZ dimer requires a preformed beta-finger structure from the nNOS PDZ domainJ Mol Biol.(2000 Oct 27)
19.^Doucet MV, Levine H, Dev KK, Harkin ASmall-Molecule Inhibitors at the PSD-95/nNOS Interface have Antidepressant-Like Properties in MiceNeuropsychopharmacology.(2013 Feb 27)
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