Nitric Oxide and Asthma

Asthma imageTis’ the season for sneezing and wheezing!  If this hits close to home for you… my apologies.  Asthma is a major health challenge for some 25 million Americans (according to American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology).

So what is an asthma attack?  The above graphic shows what happens when it hits. Basically, it’s a condition in which a person’s airways become inflamed, narrowed and swollen, and produce extra mucus, which makes it difficult to breathe.

Common Causes:

  • Outdoor allergens, such as pollens from grass, trees and weeds
  • Indoor allergens, such as pet dander, dust mites and mold
  • Irritants in the air, such as smoke, chemical fumes and strong odors
  • Exercise (although people with asthma can benefit from some exercise)
  • Stress
  • Weather conditions, such as cold air or extremely dry, wet or windy weather

What Can I Do

For the past 10+ years I have been working with and recommending nitric oxide based nutrition. I have seen very severe causes of asthma improve.  The research supports that people with asthma have problems with converting arginine into nitric oxide and produce more cytokines or inflammatory markers than non-asthmatics.

One such study was reported on by the International Journal of BioMedicine (1).  Fifty-six asthmatic patients were given either a placebo or oral l-arginine.  What was the result according to the study?  “The basic treatment in patients suffering from moderate and severe persistent asthma contributed to the earlier improvement of the clinical symptoms, particularly showing significant reduction in the IL-4, IL-8 and TNF-α serum levels. The preliminary positive results warrant further study of the possible effectiveness of L-arginine in patients with asthma.”

The idea is to reduce airway inflammation, relax the bronchioles, boost the immune system and increase oxygenation.  A good arginine based nitric oxide supplement can support all that.

  1. Sayyora A. Bazarova, Anis L. Alyavi PhD, ScD, Gulnara S. Dzhambekova PhD, Gulnaz M Kasymova PhD.  The Effect of L-Arginine on the Clinical and Immunological Parameters in Patients with Asthma. International Journal of BioMedicine 3(1) (2013) 12-14.
  2. De Gouw HW, Verbruggen MB, Twiss IM, Sterk PJ. Effect of oral L-arginine on airway hyper-responsiveness to histamine in asthma. Thorax 1999 Nov;54(11):1033-5
  3. De Gouw HW, Marshall-Partridge SJ, et al. Role of nitric oxide in the airway response to exercise in healthy and asthmatic subjects. J Appl Physiol 2001 Feb;90(2):586-92
  4. Boer J, et al. Role of L-arginine deficiency of nitric oxide and airway hyperreactivity after allergen-induced early asthmatic reaction in guinea-pigs. Br J Pharmacol 1999 Nov;128(5):1114-20
  5. Blease K, Kunkel SL, Hogaboam CM. Acute inhibition of nitric oxide exacerbates airway hyperresponsiveness, eosinophilia and C-C chemokine generation in a murinemodel of fungal asthma. Inflamm Res 2000 Jun; 49(6):297-304
  6. Du J, Cui D, Tian D. [ The role of nitric oxide in the pathogenesis of asthma.] [ Full text in Chinese] Zhonghua Jie He He Hu Xi Za Zhi 1997 Jun;20(3):153-6  




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