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Home Diseases Heart Disease NO More Heart Disease

NO More Heart Disease

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I recently read "NO More Heart Disease : How Nitric Oxide Can Prevent - Even Reverse - Heart Disease And Stroke" by Dr. Louis J. Ignarro.

 

Dr. Ignarro has spent the last couple of decades studying Nitric Oxide (NO) and it's effects in the human body.  In this book he explains how to change your lifestyle so that your body will create more nitric oxide.

He says that NO will help your blood vessels to relax and allow your blood to flow more freely, thus eliminating high blood pressure and all other causes of heart attack and stroke.  The book also explains that your body has four essential bodily processes, vascular tone, coagulation, inflammation, and oxidation.  Depending on how these process function in your body, they can be good or bad.  Dr Ignarro claims that NO (nitric oxide) optimizes all four of these processes helping the body to balance these essentials.

In addition to cardiovascular disease he says that NO helps with diabetes, erectile dysfunction, arthritis, cancer, ulcers, urinary incontinence,  Alzheimer's disease, infections, inflammatory diseases, and multiple sclerosis.

People who study one particular thing can tend to see it's effects in everything, but with NO it really does have some effect in all of these areas.  However, I would caution about getting too caught up the NO craze.  There are many other things involved in all these bodily processes.

Having said that, I do recommend following the basics of Dr. Ignarro's program to increase NO, because it helps with many of these other things as well.  Here are the basics:

Your body is always making NO, but there are things you can do to insure that it continues to create it and use it optimally.

First and foremost is exercise.  Make sure you are on a regular exercise program.  A minimum of 20 minutes of exertion 3 days a week.  Be sure to vary your exercise routines so that you will not get bored and tired of exercising.

Nutritionally the things that help the body to create NO are high quality proteins (whole grain, eggs, raw milk, etc.), a large variety of antioxidants (particularly Vitamins C, E, A, & D) along with phytonutrients (again from whole grains, eggs, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and sunshine).  Fiber is also an important part of helping these nutrients to benefit your body. So, skip the processed foods as much as possible.  Of course, drinking good clean water is also important.

Dr. Ignarro recommends a regimen of specific supplements to boost NO production in the body, but I see no need for them if you are eating a whole foods natural diet and getting good exercise.  For instance most people have plenty of the amino acids (from protein) that he recommends.  If you eat good whole food you are getting your fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.

If you are feeling challenged in any of the areas that Dr. Ignarro says that NO helps with, I would recommend upping your antioxidants first.  If you feel like you just are not getting enough from your food intake, then I would recommend a little extra vitamin C.

If it were me I would start with a teaspoon of sodium ascorbate each day.  But always remembering that fresh fruits and vegetables are still your best sources of vitamin C with all of its co-dependent nutrients.

On the other hand, if you just want to eat the standard American diet of processed foods, it will be imperative to supplement.  However, if you are eating the standard American diet you will not be following Dr. Ignarro's recommendations.

If you are interested in more details, go ahead and read his book.  Just beware that he hasn't done his research on saturated fats and so he vilifies them all in general, as do most of the medical profession.  It's funny how bad science gets stuck in institutional circles.  Although in all fairness to Dr. Ignarro, later in the book he points out that some saturated fats are good.  Remember saturated fats are good, as long as they are not hydrogenated, or trans fats.  Also, avoid all soy, corn, canola, cottonseed, saffron, and sunflower vegetable oils.  Soy in particular will cause problems in the human body.  Use olive oil for salads and coconut oil for cooking.

All in all, well done Dr. Ignarro!  Thanks for sharing this information with the world.

Last Updated on Sunday, 18 March 2012 17:43  

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