The more the human body functions and processes are studied, the more evident it becomes that our bodies are a unique arrangement of vast, codependent operations that together form an impeccable human structure. What’s even more amazing is that many of the activities occurring in the body are fueled by components that are produced by the body itself.
What is Nitric Oxide?
Nitric oxides are gaseous molecules produced by the body and have the sole job of communicating with a person’s cells. It’s not known exactly how many cells are in the human body, but the estimated count by scientists and medical professionals weigh in somewhere between 30 – 100 trillion.
Now, this is a LOT of cells, and as Nutrition Express explains, nitric oxide molecules continuously transmit information and signals throughout ALL the cells in the human body. Below is a partial list of what these transmissions achieve:
- Boosting the immune system to ward off bacteria
- Stimulating wholesome behavior and memory by conveying signals between the nerve cells in the brain
- Improving sleep quality and reducing inflammation in the body.
Bottom Line: Nitric oxide is gaseous molecules transmitting information and signals to cells throughout the body. As a result, nitric oxide plays a significant role in regulating, correcting, and inciting body functions which in turn generates a healthier, efficiently managed body system.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone produced in humans and animals. It is most prominent in the male species and is created mainly in the testicles. It is also present in the ovaries of the female species, although in much smaller quantities.
Testosterone hormones begin to increase during adolescence and start to decrease approximately at age thirty. They are predominantly associated with sexual urges and performance, and it’s essential for sperm production.
There are other processes which testosterone influences, such as the manufacturing of red blood cells, the distribution of fat, the enhancement of bone and muscle mass, and the soundness of one’s mental health.
According to LiveScience, there’s a comprehensive definition of testosterone is given regarding what it is and what it does. There’s also information about the symptoms of low testosterone levels in men.
Some of these symptoms are as follows:
- Less energy
- Irritability, and inability to concentrate
- Erectile dysfunction or impotence
- Weakened bone structure
- Weight gain
- Lower sperm count
- Decreased sex drive
If necessary, testosterone replacement therapy is available, and it is typically completed under a doctor’s care. It can be administered in several ways, but there are possible physical side effects (see the “Live Science” article mentioned above). Should a person decide to take the hormone themselves (without consulting a doctor), they should remember that because of the possible serious side effects and depending on the amount and the way it’s taken, self-administered synthetic testosterone could be harmful.
The testosterone hormone is primarily associated with men; and in addition to affecting the sex drive, it also affects bone and muscle mass, red blood cell and sperm production, and mental health.
If a person requires testosterone hormone treatments, it should be done under the supervision of a physician, while being wary of possible side effects. It’s not advisable to self-administer synthetic testosterone because if not taken correctly, it can result in significant harm to the body.
Bottom Line: There’s a connection between nitric oxide and testosterone.
Nitric Oxide and Testosterone
There is a crucial interaction which happens between nitric oxide and testosterone, resulting in the improvement of men’s overall health.
The production of nitric oxide can only occur in a balanced system. One role of testosterone (while performing its other duties in the body) is to pave the way for nitric oxide production so that nitric oxide can then carry out its functions. In other words, each assists the other in completing its respective role more efficiently.
AlphaNation delivers a comprehensive report on the interactions between nitric oxide and testosterone and how they both impact each other. Some outcomes of their combined activities include improvement in brain functionality; blood circulation; sleeping habits; and athletic and sexual performance.
Since one of the areas that testosterone works in is promoting a more natural blood flow within the circulatory system, AlphaNation explains how low testosterone levels can contribute to chronic cardiovascular conditions.
And since nitric oxide can only be produced in a healthy, well-functioning system, when arteries are hardened or not working correctly, nitric oxide cannot be delivered.
Although there are other contributing factors to negative cardiovascular performance, it doesn’t change the fact that, because of their combined vital roles, low testosterone levels and disrupted nitric oxide production can cause severe health problems in men.
Bottom Line: Healthy testosterone levels pave the way for the necessary production of nitric oxide. Both cooperate with each other to help perform their respective functions more efficiently. Together, they contribute to a healthy, vibrant, operating body system.
Nitric Oxide and Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, well-nourished muscles are a critical asset. Muscles are the calorie-burning machines in the human body which increase metabolism, and it’s well known about the role our metabolism plays in weight loss.
In addition to being described as molecular “messengers.” Nitric Oxide is also a vasodilator which expands the blood vessels.
Enlarged blood vessels permit more blood and oxygen to flow to the body’s tissues and organs. Thus, more oxygen, nutrients, and blood are delivered to muscles, allowing them to perform their functions more competently. Also, proper and regular removal of waste matters is one of the necessary tasks that promote weight loss, which widened blood vessels facilitate.
This process of increasing nitric oxide could help weight loss by:
- Forcing oxygen, nutrients and blood to the muscles which can then burn calories more sufficiently, thus raising metabolism
- Increase blood flow throughout the body, promoting proper, consistent removal of waste from tissues; and
- Stimulate muscle growth
Bottom Line: Nitric oxide helps with weight loss by expanding blood vessels so blood can flow more freely through the body to the tissues and organs.
Are Nitric Oxide Supplements Safe?
According to LiveStrong, the exciting thing about nitric oxide (“NO”) supplements is they’re not even created of nitric oxide! Instead, these supplements contain amino acids (primarily “L-arginine”) that release nitric oxide in the body.
It’s always recommended to contact your doctor before taking a NO supplements.
Some of the side effects reported are as follows:
- Rapid heartbeat
Bottom Line: Because of the severe reactions that can occur with NO supplements, it’s highly advisable that a person consults a physician before embarking on a nitric oxide supplement regimen.
Nitric Oxide Supplements and Effectiveness
If someone decides on their own to take nitric oxide supplements, they should at least know what medical researchers have to say about what’s on the market. Nitric Oxide reviews noted:
- Products didn’t contain the ingredients listed or even the essential component, L-arginine, to increase NO production
- Did not include the right ingredients in the appropriate proportions, therefore making the product utterly ineffective
- The supplements tended to be incredibly expensive
Bottom Line: Research shows some nitric oxide supplements work, based on the ingredients.
Legitimate NO Products
Groups connected to third parties that monitor the companies’ actions are considered to be reliable and can be a good place to start.
For instance, third-party monitoring and testing can make or break the reputation of a business; and if the monitoring and testing has positive results, there’s some assurance that there will be customer satisfaction.
Check out the companies offering a money-back guarantee, which is an indication that they’re backing their products because they believe in its outcomes.
Bottom Line: There are legitimate nitric oxide supplements on the market.
Natural Nitric Oxide
According to Exercise, there are several natural ways to increase nitric oxide levels.
Consider eating foods containing L-arginine (L-arginine is converted into nitric oxide in the body), including:
- Pomegranate juice
Also, consider eating food containing vitamin C, as it may help reduce arterial hardness; while keeping free radicals from destroying nitric oxide.
Performing moderate exercises, such as brisk walking or light jogging.
Avoiding meals high in fat, while including ones rich with Vitamin E, such as sweet potatoes, salmon, blackberries, and tomatoes.
Bottom Line: It’s always best to correct any problems in the body using natural resources rather than drugs or supplements.
Bottom Line on Nitric Oxide
Some research suggests nitric oxide may be able to aid with weight-loss, but only in small amounts. Long term changes in eating behaviors and exercise routines are needed for weight-loss and improved wellness.
In this case, a comprehensive weight-loss program may be the best bet for long-term changes in health.
One of the best weight-loss apps we’ve found is Noom. We love the fact that the program is backed by real clinical research and focuses on the individual needs of the dieter.
Right now, Noom is available as a free trial for all Dietspotlight readers.
Summer Banks has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University.