Nitric oxide (nitrogen monoxide, a free radical) is an important signaling molecule found naturally in the body that offers many benefits for overall health and performance, particularly for blood vessel health and proper circulation. Nitric oxide has also been found to play a particularly important role in erectile function, with evidence to suggest that a defect in nitric oxide activity may contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED) and vascular problems in some men.
The molecule nitric oxide is a biological messenger that is produced in many cells throughout the body, particularly the endothelium (cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels) and the cavernosal nerves (which facilitate penile erection). Nitric oxide plays a major role in enabling particular cells within the body to work with one another to perform various functions.
Benefits of Nitric Oxide in Men’s Health
Much research has been carried out on the benefits of nitric oxide, and it has been discovered that this molecule can:
- Relax the blood vessels, causing them to widen – thereby increasing blood flow and oxygen levels
- Relax the muscles in the penis to allow a healthy erection
- Improve memory by fostering nerve cell health in the brain
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve athletic performance and strength
- Improve sleep quality
- Support the immune system
- Decrease muscle soreness and tension after exercise
How Nitric Oxide Helps with Erectile Dysfunction
It is not uncommon for men to struggle to maintain or develop an erection from time to time. But if it becomes a frequent problem, it may be a sign of erectile dysfunction. ED is the inability to achieve or sustain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.
ED can be caused by a number of physical or emotional issues, including:
- Vascular and circulatory problems
- Neurological and nerve disorders
- Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes)
- Certain medications
- Psychological factors (such as stress)
- Lifestyle factors (such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption)
Nitric oxide is required for the muscles in the penis to relax. As the muscles relax, it allows the chambers within the penis to fill with blood, which makes the penis erect.
As men get older, nitric oxide production in the body can drop – particularly for those with a poor diet or low activity levels. An unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise can increase arterial plaque (buildup in the arteries) and circulatory disorders, which can interfere with the healthy production of nitric oxide.
Its Benefits on Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (also referred to as hypertension) occurs when the pressure in your blood vessels is unusually high each time your heart beats. If this pressure is high, your heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. Being overweight, having an unhealthy diet, inactivity, and smoking can all increase your chances of developing high blood pressure.
People with high blood pressure also seem to have an impaired ability to use nitric oxide in their bodies. Without proper levels of nitric oxide, the inner surfaces of the blood vessels are unable to relax or widen fully, thereby impeding the flow of blood and oxygen in the body.
Men’s Healthcare in Edmonds and Seattle, WA
If you are experiencing sexual dysfunction on a fairly regular basis, then talk to the highly skilled all-male medical team at Affirm Clinic in Edmonds, Washington. We understand your concerns and have the clinical expertise to help restore your virility, allowing you to enjoy the pleasure and fulfillment of a healthy sexual relationship.
If you would like more information about our men’s health services, call our office today at (206) 231-6000 or complete our secure appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you feel great about yourself again.