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Why does nitric oxide have a calming effect?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
In the brain, nitric oxide acts as a neurotransmitter to rapidly transmit messages. Much like the way that the brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine promote don't-worry-be-happy emotions, nitric oxide has a calming effect.

Why? Nitric oxide turns on a chain reaction in our cells that allows our blood vessels to relax and dilate. People with atherosclerosis (clogging and hardening of the arteries) commonly don't make enough nitric oxide to keep their arteries open. The lack of nitric oxide helps to explain the detrimental effects we feel during periods of high stress as well as periods of low sleep. The common angina treatment nitroglycerine increases nitric oxide, dilating blood vessels and thus decreasing heart pain.
You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty

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You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty

International bestselling authors of YOU: The Owner's Manual and YOU: On a Diet give you all the tools and know-how to stay young and defy the ageing process. Drawing lively parallels between your...

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