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nasal breathing/nitric oxide

Updated on March 26, 2023 in Ask A Coach
1 on March 25, 2023

I am reading a lot about how important it is to breathe thru your nose and not your mouth. Nitric oxide is naturally released when you nose breathe according to the articles. What do you know about this and the benefits of nitric oxide? Is it available in other forms? Thanks!

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0 on March 26, 2023

Great question! Yes, that’s right. Nitric oxide (NO) is released in the nasal and sinus passages when breathing through the nose and helps to improve blood flow that carries oxygen to the heart and lungs. You may have heard of nitroglycerin, a medication used to prevent and relieve chest pain (angina). It does so in large part by improving NO levels in the body, improving blood flow.

The best ways to increase NO in the body are through nasal breathing, eating a plant-rich diet (especially green leafy veggies and beets), and exercise. Some supplements increase NO levels in the body such as the amino acids l-citrulline and l-arginine, or concentrated beets/greens. In addition to increasing NO in the body through these means, it’s also important to limit or avoid things that decrease NO such as smoking, too much sugar, alcohol, and chronic stress.

There is some growing interest in research on NO-supportive therapies in use for cardiovascular disease, respiratory disorders, immunity, and cancer, so it’s quite a molecule!


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