The human body needs a regular supply of Nitric Oxide in order to keep its essential functions up and running. It’s one of the body’s most important signaling molecules, which means that it controls the actions of cells as well as coordinate multiple-cell processes. It’s also one of the most powerful natural vasodilators, meaning it can open up blood vessels to allow for blood to flow more easily.
To understand how age affects Nitric Oxide production, it’s important to know that it’s produced through 2 main pathways. The first is in the mouth through intake of the salivary glands. When you consume nitrate-rich foods (beets, leafy greens, etc.) your body will take out the nitrates to put into the bloodstream. The second pathway is natural production by endothelium, which is the tissue that lines the body’s essential organs and blood vessels. This specific pathway is all based inside the body, so the only way to increase its production is through regular exercise and keeping the heart healthy. Your blood vessels dilate when you exercise because it’s needed to increase blood flow around the body, but that dilation is actually caused from increased Nitric Oxide production inside your body tissue.
From the 2 different pathways of Nitric Oxide production, only the second is affected by age. By age 40, most people’s natural production declines by over 50% overall. Even with regular exercise, it’s not possible to completely restore the body’s creation. Age is something that gradually decreases most of the body’s abilities, but with Nitric Oxide, there’s actually a way to combat the effects of age.
The first pathway is not affected by an increase in age, so it can be enhanced to counter the body’s natural decline. Eating a healthy, nitrate-rich diet is one way, but taking Nitric Oxide supplements are also a great way to offset the damaging effects of age. As you get older, it becomes increasingly important to take care of your body and to recognize points of decline, but with a proper understanding of heart health and physical activity, these effects can be easily counteracted.