Nitric Oxide may Boost Brain Function

Nitric Oxide improves brain functionFuzzy memory, forgetfulness, poor concentration, and even dementia may be caused in part due to the lack of oxygen to the brain.  Your body and even your brain can’t be truly healthy unless you are generating optimal amounts of nitric oxide leading to optimum blood flow and nutrient delivery.   You brain, while only about 2% of your body’s mass consumes an astounding 25% of your body’s requirement of oxygen.  A lack of adequate blood flow to the brain bringing in nutrients and removing wastes, increases your risks for neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias.  A lack of blood flow can also cause a reduction in brain performance.

From the Neurology Journal: “About one quart of blood normally flows through the brain every minute. If the amount of blood flow is less than it should be, the brain cannot work efficiently. This can lead to memory loss and other symptoms.”

Nitric oxide is a signaling molecule in the body that tells the blood vessels to expand, allowing more blood and oxygen to flow to the organs and tissues.  And once you hit about 40 years old, your body only produces about half of the nitric oxide it produced when you were younger.  But it is essential to proper tissue function, especially the brain.  Nitric oxide allows the blood vessels to open, bringing in more oxygen to the brain while removing waste products.  So proper amounts of nitric oxide can help keep your brain younger, longer.

Not only does nitric oxide increase blood and oxygen flow to the brain, it also appears to be a key signaling molecule between brain cells.  Medical Research Council (MRC) Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester shows that nitric oxide can affect the brains computational ability.  NO has the ability to carry information between neurons without using the synapses.  This makes NO very powerful, but also an overdose very toxic.  Because nitric oxide only exists for such a short time before it is metabolized, it has proven difficult to study.  However, the results so far have been exciting!

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