The Importance of Nitric Oxide for Muscle Recovery and Energy
Nitric Oxide (NO) is the body’s main Vasodilator and the molecule that improves blood flow, energy levels, brain-speed and memory. Vasodilation is the physiological process in which the diameter of blood vessels is widened to increase blood flow.
"Nitric Oxide improves the flow of blood and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles".
Nitric Oxide is produced from arginine an amino acid obtained from many protein rich foods. Arginine is converted to nitric oxide by an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase. In our blood vessels, the enzyme is called endothelial nitric oxide synthase, abbreviated to eNOS.
The enzyme eNOS is found in the body in limited amounts. Therefore, only so much nitric oxide can be generated at any one time because the enzyme is a limiting agent. When Modex supplement is consumed, the Pycnogenol acts on the endothelial cells in the blood vessels to switch on the synthesis of eNOS (Nishioka et al, 2007). As there is more eNOS then it is possible to produce more nitric oxide. Moreover, PBE activates eNOS- it makes the enzyme work faster so nitric oxide is generated more rapidly. This is very important for the active athlete.
Dilated blood vessels allow more efficient nutrient delivery to activate muscles and other tissues. More efficient blood supply will also allow higher levels of oxygen to be transported at a quicker rate to our tissues, including our active muscles. Dilated blood vessels also include our venous system which will allow the faster elimination of toxic waste product from the body. Nitric Oxide is important during exercise because it is able to boost the function of mitochondria in cells, including those in skeletal muscle cells. Mitochondria are the energy generating units in cells. The substrate that goes into mitochondria are simple sugars such as glucose and these are converted into the energy unit, ATP.
"Nitric Oxide boosts the speed at which glucose is converted to ATP and it facilitates the entry of glucose into the cell. The faster glucose can be taken up by cells, the faster it can be converted into ATP Energy".
Muscle Recovery, Pain and Cramp Reduction
Muscle cramping is a common problem for people of all ages, ranging from the fit to people who suffer from health problems. An increase in physical activity can lend itself to sore muscles and fatigue, which can take several days to subside.
A study published in Angiology shows that supplementation with Pycnogenol improves blood flow to the muscles which speeds recovery after physical exercise. The study demonstrated that Pycnogenol significantly reduces muscular pain and cramps in athletes and healthy, normal individuals. Poor circulation in the muscle is known to cause cramps and the antioxidant improved the cramping in patients due to a stimulation of blood flow to their muscle tissue.
According to one of the lead researchers of the study Dr. Peter Rohdewald, the findings indicate that Pycnogenol can play an important role in sports by improving blood flow to the muscles and hastening post exercise recovery. This is great news to the millions of athletes worldwide and extremely significant for all individuals interested in muscle cramp and pain relief with a natural approach.
Extract from Total Health Magazine
Nishioka K, Hidaka T, Takemoto H, Nakamura S, Umemura T, Jitsuiki D, Soga J, Goto C, Chayama K, Yoshizumi M, Higashi Y. Pycnogenol®, French maritime pine bark extract, augments endothelium-dependent vasodilation in humans. Hypertens Res 30: 775-780, 2007.