What Is the Connection between Nitric Oxide and Hypertension?

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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2019
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Nitric oxide is a natural substance produced in the body of humans and animals in response to physical activity and exercise. It has been shown to improve blood flow and hypertension. Studies involving nitric oxide and hypertension show that the properties of nitric oxide can act as a powerful vasodilator, increasing the diameter of arteries. This can result in easier blood flow and less constricted arteries, which combat the symptoms of high blood pressure. Some hypertension medications include substances designed to produce nitric oxide in the body without exercise, fighting hypertension to bring blood pressure back to normal, healthy levels.

Patients suffering from high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension, often suffer from excessive physical and emotional stress that constricts proper blood flow through the arteries. Besides prescribing medication to control and regulate healthy blood pressure, many doctors advise patients to participate in an active lifestyle. Research on nitric oxide and hypertension improvement has shown that exercise can have a positive effect on blood pressure, not to mention other health factors. Physical exercise, whether it be walking, running or swimming, has been shown to produce nitric oxide, which acts as a natural vasodilator within the arteries.


Studies on nitric oxide and hypertension often involve examining the effects of plaque buildup in the arteries associated with untreated hypertension. During the early stages of hypertension, the body often reduces overall levels of nitric oxide production, causing more pressure on the walls of the arteries during blood flow. Through intense exercise and physical movement, whatever it may be, the increased rate of blood flow pushes past the endothelial cells releasing nitric oxide. Over time, nitric oxide and hypertension levels improve dramatically, especially when exercise and proper medications are used together with a diet low in salt and unhealthy fats.

The connection between nitric oxide and hypertension is important, as it shows the powerful effect exercise has on the production of this health-promoting substance. Nitric oxide production in response to exercise and blood pressure lowering medications can increase the diameter of the arteries, allowing relaxation and healthy blood flow. This is very important for patients with hypertension, as it allows for a natural and complementary approach to proper medical advice for improving blood pressure and general health. Many medications also contain compounds that help promote natural nitric oxide production, improving the effectiveness of an overall healthy lifestyle including exercise and a proper diet.


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