Most of us know that heart disease is a prevalent problem, but most don’t realise how severe the problem really is – cardiovascular diseases are the No. 1 killer of both men and women in America today and can be extrapolated to the Cayman Islands as well, considering our similarities in lifestyle.
Even more sobering is the fact that most health experts now say that heart disease can largely be avoided by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Recent research offers real hope for those struggling with cardiovascular health challenges.
Nitric oxide is an emerging secret for powerful cardiovascular protection. Only recently identified, scientists Robert F. Furchgott, Louis J. Ignarro and Ferid Murad were awarded a Nobel Prize in 1998 for their discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system. Since that time, significant evidence has come forward on its incredible potential and myriad uses.
“Nitric oxide is a powerful vasodilator, which means it helps relax and expand the blood vessels and arteries,” said Dr. Joseph Prendergast, a renowned endocrinologist. “In turn, this helps regulate blood pressure and enhance blood flow.”
Nitic oxide is naturally produced in the endothelial cells of the arteries, but as a gas, it only has a lifespan of a few seconds. When nitric oxide levels in the arteries become deficient they lose their elasticity, which places more strain on the heart and creates a susceptibility to cardiovascular problems.
“It’s obvious that nitric oxide production in the body lays the groundwork for vastly improved cardiovascular wellness and vitality,” Dr. Prendergast said.
Nitric oxide cannot be brought into the body from the outside, but its production can be stimulated through amino acids and antioxidants such as L-arginine and citrulline. These elements can markedly boost production of nitric oxide and stabilise the molecule, preventing it from being inactivated by oxygen radicals.
In a recent study at Columbia University, researchers called L-arginine the “magic bullet for the cardiovascular system.” Researchers from Germany concluded that the effectiveness of L-arginine on vasodilation was similar to that of regular exercise, and that when exercise and L-arginine supplementation are combined, the effects are even greater.
In yet another study that took an in-depth look into five decades’ worth of L-arginine studies shows that L-arginine improves the management of multiple cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Robert Bouliane is a chiropractor practising in the Cayman Islands.