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Vascular Disease Prevention (Discontinued)


ISSN (Print): 1567-2700
ISSN (Online): 1567-2700

Nitric Oxide and Dietary Factors: Part I Nitric Oxide Synthesis and Action

Author(s): Noboru Toda

Volume 4, Issue 1, 2007

Page: [39 - 44] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/1567270010704010039

Price: $65


An individual can be expected to live a healthy long life through the daily intake of beneficial dietary factors from a young age, independent of the presence or absence of genomic disorders. It is recommended to preferentially take food that contains substances favorably influencing cell viability and more importantly to minimize dietary factors that enhance cellular dysfunction and histological damage. Common sense would indicate that impairment of vascular function and histology accelerates age-dependent physical and mental deterioration; however, recent advances in medical research indicate that the term “vascular” should be replaced with “vascular endothelial”, which more accurately describes the situation Endothelial dysfunction is widely recognized as the most prominent triggering factor for the genesis of atherosclerosis and resultant serious cardiovascular diseases, such as myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, heart failure and stroke. One of the important factors maintaining the healthy endothelium and protecting against atheromatic changes is nitric oxide (NO) derived from endothelial cells, which is formed from L-arginine through catalysis by endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) in the presence of Ca2+, calmodulin and other cofactors. This gaseous, labile molecule elicits vasodilatation and inhibits platelet aggregation/adhesion, smooth muscle proliferation and LDL oxidation. NO formed by neurogenic (nNOS) and inducible NOS (iNOS) also contributes to regulate functions and histology in blood vessels, heart, kidney, corpus cavernosum and other tissues. Various ingested dietary factors influence endothelial function with the assistance of NO, its bioavailability being altered by the production, action and degradation of NO synthesized by NOS isoforms. Cholesterol, methionine/homocysteine, sodium, and cigarette smoking will be considered in this review as factors that impair functions of the endothelium, vascular smooth muscle or other tissues. Mechanisms underlying beneficial actions, in reference to NO, like dietary L-arginine, antioxidants, and polyphenols will also be discussed. Appropriate daily diets chosen for their health benefits are undoubtedly important not only in the prevention of disease but also as a strategy in patients on drug treatment. This review was separated into 5 Parts.

Keywords: Nitric oxide synthase, endothelium, biological action of nitric oxide action, endothelial dysfunction

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