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Nitric Oxide Supplements: Benefits & Risks

in All , Exercise , Health Care , Nutrition

Nitric oxide is a compound that widens the blood vessels and triggers the release of special hormones, including human growth hormone and insulin.

Nitric oxide supplements also include L-arginine and L-citrulline in their category.

Many clinical trials have been run to check the performance and effectiveness of nitric oxide supplements.

Benefits of nitric oxide as a supplement 

1.     Nitric Oxide supplement for heart health

One article published in the journal called Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications stated that nitric oxide supplements could offer various heart-related benefits.

The benefits include, it improves carotid artery blood flow, reduces arterial stiffness, and lowers blood pressure. However, it is important to mention that these studies were conducted on animal subjects.

2.     Nitric Oxide for enhancing exercise and recovery

Studies state that nitric oxide supplements may promote oxygen delivery to muscles which will improve the performance of athletes.

It may also reduce post-workout soreness and tiredness. One article published in a journal called Sports Medicine stated that nitric oxide supplements might increase tolerance during a workout.

However, this is related to those who do not do workout regularly.

3.     Nitric Oxide for reducing erectile dysfunction

As nitric oxide supplements promote blood flow, studies have been conducted to check if they could promote blood flow in the case of erectile dysfunction (ED).

One article published in a journal stated that nitric oxide supplements might reduce mild to moderate erectile dysfunction.

4.     Reducing high blood pressure complications in pregnancy

Preeclampsia is a condition that causes high blood pressure during pregnancy that can be harmful to others and the baby. Nitric oxide supplements may be helpful in treating this condition.

5.     Nitric Oxide supplement for managing Type 2 Diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes have impaired production of nitric oxide, which leads to bad blood vessel health. It can cause further complications such as heart and kidney diseases and high blood pressure.

Nitric oxide supplements can work great for diabetes prevention and diabetes management.

Risks of Nitric Oxide

Mostly, nitric oxide supplements do cause any harmful side effects. For some people, it may cause mild side effects such as:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach aches or heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations

However, people with the following health conditions should not take these supplements. Such conditions include:

·        Cirrhosis

People with liver scarring or cirrhosis should be careful in taking nitric oxide supplements as it may damage liver functioning.

·        Guanidino acetate methyltransferase deficiency

People with this rare genetic condition should not take nitric oxide supplements. In this condition, an enzyme that converts arginine into creatine is absent.


Nitric oxide is a molecule that is quite effective for human health. There are many supplements available that claim to enhance the levels of nitric oxide in the body.

Such supplements typically consist of ingredients like amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline and nitrate.

There are other supplements as well which increase nitric oxide levels, such as French maritime pine bark extract.

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