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1. 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).
2. What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this?
Despite the claims of some in the supplement industry, there exists ample scientific literature to suggest the efficacy of Nitric Oxide products. The following was written in May 1996 in a document prepared for the Royal Society and Association of British Science Writers:
“Summary research papers continue to flood the scientific journals and insights into the biological activity and potential clinical uses of nitric oxide (NO): a gas controlling a seemingly limitless range of functions in the body. Each revelation adds to nitric oxide’s already lengthy resume in controlling the circulation of the blood, regulating activities of the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, stomach and other organs.”
Since the above was written in 1996, Nitric Oxide containing products have continued to be touted by those in the medical profession, as well as by athletes looking to add muscle to their frames.
The fact that nitric oxide increases blood flow should make it of interest to bodybuilders, as increased blood flow will serve to deliver more nutrients to muscles, thus helping muscles become larger when subject to stress.
Nitric oxide also affects the endocrine system. It affects the release of gonadotroptin releasing hormone, as well as the release of adrenaline from the adrenal medulla.
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