Nitric oxide (NO) is one of the most studied substances out there and is considered a “substance of interest” for slowing and even stopping tumor growth. Like many powerful yet still mysterious processes in the body, some studies show conflicting results on how nitric oxide affects cancer cells. However, recent research is getting closer to discovering the specific conditions which can trigger NO-related and NO-inspired tumor suppression − making it potentially one of the strongest yet little-known cancer-fighters.
Nitric Oxide is a Powerful Genetic Regulator
In 1998, three American physicians went on to win the Nobel Prize for their research into nitric oxide . Since then, the overall importance of nitric oxide for the body has become common knowledge. NO is a ubiquitous, water soluble, free radical gas produced by the body’s own cells.
Its main job is to transmit signals to other cells in the body. It is first and foremost a “pleiotropic regulator,” i.e. it helps determine how genes express themselves in a multitude of ways. Nitric oxide is critical to many key biological processes, including neurotransmission, immune system function, and vascular health.
It is also a promoter of cell growth, which can make it both a cancer tumor promoter under certain circumstances, as well as a cancer suppressor. One of the most powerful ways it can help heal cancer is by encouraging the growth of healthy cells.
According to a review published in a 2013 edition of the Journal of Surgical Oncology, “NO has been suggested to modulate different cancer-related events including angiogenesis, apoptosis, cell cycle, invasion, and metastasis. On the other hand, it is also emerging as a potential anti-oncogenic agent.”
A London-based study may have found clues as to what makes it either anti-cancer or pro-proliferation:
“It appears that high levels of NOS expression (for example, generated by activated macrophages) may be cytostatic or cytotoxic for tumor cells, whereas low level activity can have the opposite effect and promote tumor growth. Paradoxically therefore, NO (and related reactive nitrogen species) may have both genotoxic and angiogenic properties.”
Can Upping Your Nitric Oxide Levels Help You Heal Cancer?
Although the jury is still out as to the exact “low point” at which NO may increase cancer tumor growth, what is crystal clear (and verified by countless studies) is that nitric oxide at a high level is a tumor suppressor. Being proactive with prevention by upping your NO levels naturally may help prevent and even heal cancer.
The most promising research regarding NO levels and cancer has been around the amino acid L-Arginine. L-Arginine works with nitric oxide synthase (NOS) to produce nitric oxide. A study conducted in 2000 and published in the journal Tumour Biology tested several breast cancer cell lines. They found that in the lines with the highest NO activity, the nitric oxide present caused breast cancer cells to implode.
Another study published in Rockefeller University’s Journal of Experimental Medicine found that tumor cells were destroyed by “active macrophages” (cells found in the immune system’s white blood cells) when NO activity in tumor cells in mice was stimulated. On the other hand, when NO activity was lowered significantly, the tumor cells developed the capacity to avoid immune system-related destruction.
In a study conducted by Indian researchers in 2011, nitric oxide appeared to inhibit the enzymes responsible for growth of pancreatic cancer cells. In this study as well, high levels of NO led to anti-cancer effects.
What You Can Do to Increase NO In Your Body
My personal story regarding nitric oxide may help shed some light on how powerful it can be, especially for the cardiovascular system. After doing some tests in my early 50s, I discovered that I had the heart health of an 80 year old! I was shocked, since I have always been an avid runner and clean eater.
Through the use of an EBCT scanner, I discovered that the culprit was calcification that was developing in one of my major heart arteries. I began to ingest a product which contained high levels of L-arginine and this helped reduce the overall inflammation in my arteries. After about a year of sticking with my L-arginine protocol, I was tested again and found to have the cardiovascular system of a 35 year old. To this day I have excellent heart health!
Upping your consumption of L-arginine is probably THE BEST WAY you can increase nitric oxide production for cancer-fighting and overall health. Here are a few other tips:
Eat veggies that contain healthy nitrates. These include organic greens and root vegetables. The natural nitrates found in these foods are converted to NO by the healthy bacteria in your mouth and gut.
Promote healthy gut and mouth flora. In order for the above conversion to happen, you must have adequate amounts of healthy gut flora in the first place. Cutting back on foods that promote bad bacteria such as processed foods, sugar, and simple carbs will do wonders for your gut health. Upping your levels of gut-friendly foods like healthy yogurts (not the processed, sugar-filled kind), cultured veggies, and quality probiotic supplements will also help tremendously. Regular flossing and oil pulling will promote good flora in the mouth. Chewing your food thoroughly can give your gut a hand as well since the first stage of digestion is through the breaking down of your food orally.
Need a reason to eat more chocolate? Chocolate is an excellent source of L-arginine! Just make sure it is dark and made with organic cacao. Tasty varieties that use stevia instead of sugar are also available. Other good sources of L-arginine include organic turkey and chicken, pumpkin seeds, and spirulina.
Use Ionic Technology. Sleeping on a device such as a Biomat, which uses Far-Infrared light and negative ions to promote healing, is also said to increase NO levels and the restoration of healthy cells in the body.
Nitric oxide is the byproduct of natural, healthy cell respiration. The best way to reap its healing benefits is to help your body produce more of it naturally. I am so glad that I added L-arginine and other NO-stimulating modalities to my healing toolbox when I did. I encourage you to do the same!