Nitric Oxide and Hormones

Nitric OxideNitric oxide is a signaling molecule that our bodies produce to maintain blood vessel integrity, appropriate oxygenation of tissues and metabolic health. Typically when we think of nitric oxide it is associated with cardiovascular health or erectile dysfunction. An article by Duckles et al. enhances this relationship by exploring the correlation of nitric oxide, estrogen and testosterone thyroid hormones, stress hormones and even glucose and insulin. This relationship opens the discussion of maintaining nitric oxide levels to properly maintain hormone levels as we age- especially in terms of menopause, andropause, stress response, fertility and weight management.

Preventing age-related illnesses associated with the natural decline of hormones is crucial for the concept of longevity and anti-aging medicine. In the presence growth hormone and sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen, nitric oxide production will increase. And interestingly, nitric oxide can also stimulate the production of testosterone and estrogen which are crucial for sexual health, cardiovascular health and overall aging with strength and vibrance.

Thyroid health and hormone production is also dependent on nitric oxide. Oxidative stress occurs when there is too many harmful free radicals and our body is not able to detoxify effectively. This oxidative damage hinders the enzymes that modulate the synthesis and conversion of thyroid hormone- nitric oxide acts as an antioxidant and clears free radicals that may damage thyroid tissue.

Typically we talk about hormones decreasing as we age, but there is one hormone that eludes this rule, cortisol. As we age, cortisol actually can increase resulting in lowered nitric oxide production. This natural increase of cortisol and decrease of nitric oxide can disturb our circadian rhythm causing sleep issues, decrease immune system, increase oxidative stress and also potentially cause weight gain. 

The relationship between our cell’s signaling molecules is harmonious in nature and crucial for optimal health as we age. At The Hormone Zone, we check your nitric oxide levels at each appointment. This is one way that we ensure to address your metabolic health at all angles. We also offer a Nitric Oxide supplement, Neo40 Professional, available for purchase on our online store or in-office to maintain your nitric oxide levels. Contact us to learn more!

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References:

1. Całka J. The role of nitric oxide in the hypothalamic control of LHRH and oxytocin release, sexual behavior and aging of the LHRH and oxytocin neurons. Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2006;44(1):3-12.

2. Ghasemi A, Zahediasl S. Is nitric oxide a hormone?. Iran Biomed J. 2011;15(3):59-65.

3. Sansbury BE, Hill BG. Regulation of obesity and insulin resistance by nitric oxide. Free Radic Biol Med. 2014;73:383-399. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.05.016

4. Sansbury BE, Hill BG. Regulation of obesity and insulin resistance by nitric oxide. Free Radic Biol Med. 2014;73:383-399. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.05.016

5. Nath, P., & Maitra, S. (2018). Physiological relevance of nitric oxide in ovarian functions: an overview. General and Comparative Endocrinology. doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2018.09.008

6. Duckles SP, Miller VM. Hormonal modulation of endothelial NO production. Pflugers Arch. 2010;459(6):841-851. doi:10.1007/s00424-010-0797-1

7. Khorram O, Han G. Influence of progesterone on endometrial nitric oxide synthase expression. Fertil Steril. 2009;91(5 Suppl):2157-2162. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.05.019

8. American Chemical Society. “Nitric Oxide Could Extend Fertility.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050908084148.htm>.

9. Meng, C. (2019). Nitric oxide (NO) levels in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): a meta- analysis. Journal of International Medical Research, 4083–4094. https://doi.org/10.1177/0300060519864493

10. El-Sakka AI. Dehydroepiandrosterone and Erectile Function: A Review. World J Mens Health. 2018 Sep;36(3):183-191. https://doi.org/10.5534/wjmh.180005

11. Sansbury BE, Hill BG. Regulation of obesity and insulin resistance by nitric oxide. Free Radic Biol Med. 2014;73:383-399. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.05.016

12. Melis MR, Succu S, Iannucci U, Argiolas A. Oxytocin increases nitric oxide production in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus of male rats: correlation with penile erection and yawning. Regulatory Peptides. 1997 Mar;69(2):105-111. DOI: 10.1016/s0167-0115(97)00002-5.

13. Kunieda, Takeshige & Minamino, Tohru & Miura, Kentaro & Katsuno, Taro & Tateno, Kaoru & Miyauchi, Hideyuki & Kaneko, Shuichi & Bradfield, Christopher & FitzGerald, Garret & Komuro, Issei. (2008). Reduced Nitric Oxide Causes Age-Associated Impairment of Circadian Rhythmicity. Circulation research. 102. 607-14. 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.107.162230.

14. Hotta Y, Kataoka T, Kimura K. Testosterone Deficiency and Endothelial Dysfunction: Nitric Oxide, Asymmetric Dimethylarginine, and Endothelial Progenitor Cells. Sex Med Rev. 2019;7(4):661-668. doi:10.1016/j.sxmr.2019.02.005