We hear a lot about nitric oxide these days, especially on all those commercials about beets. A recent article, “Is Nitric Oxide a Cancer-Healing Powerhouse?” by Dr. Veronique Desaulniers is instructive, so we summarize it here for our readers. Nitric Oxide (“NO”) is one of the most studied substances out there and is believed to slow and even stop tumor growth. It may well be one of the strongest yet little-known cancer-fighters.
It’s new. NO was discovered in 1998 by three American physicians who won the Nobel Prize for their research into this water soluble, free radical gas produced by the body’s own cells. It promotes cell growth, and it can help heal cancer is by encouraging the growth of healthy cells. A 2013 review in the Journal of Surgical Oncology noted that it could encourage growth of both cancerous and healthy cells. A London-based study mentioned echoed the thought. So once again, there are those who will create a controversy out of a great new discovery.
What is crystal clear (and verified by countless other studies), however, is that Nitric Oxide at a high level is a tumor suppressor. Therefore, being proactive with prevention by upping your NO levels naturally may help prevent and even heal cancer.
The most promising research regarding NO levels and cancer concerns the amino acid L-Arginine, which works with nitric oxide synthase (NOS) to produce nitric oxide. A 2000 study from Tumour Biology showed that nitric oxide caused breast cancer cells to implode. In a study conducted by Indian researchers in 2011, Nitric Oxide appeared to inhibit the enzymes responsible for growth of pancreatic cancer cells. High levels of NO led to anti-cancer effects.
Upping your consumption of L-arginine is probably THE BEST WAY you can increase Nitric Oxide production for cancer-fighting and overall health. How to do that? Eat veggies that contain healthy nitrates. These include organic greens and root vegetables. The natural nitrates in these foods are converted to NO by the healthy bacteria in your mouth and gut.
Healthy gut flora is necessary. Avoid foods that promote bad bacteria (processed foods, sugar, and simple carbs) and increase gut-friendly foods like healthy yogurts (not the processed, sugar-filled kind), cultured veggies, and quality probiotic supplements. Chocolate is an excellent source of L-arginine, but make sure it is dark and organic. Other good sources of L-arginine include organic turkey and chicken, pumpkin seeds, and spirulina.
Conclusion: Nitric Oxide is the byproduct of natural, healthy cell respiration, so help your body produce more of it naturally, by heeding the tips in this article!