What is Nitric Oxide?

It’s the body’s natural regulator for blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscle tissue.

Oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) gases are carried by red blood cells throughout the human body. But, less well known is the role of nitric oxide (NO), which serves as an essential third gas in the human respiratory cycle.

Nitric oxide released from red blood cells controls blood flow that supplies oxygen and nourishes tissues.1,2

Exercise releases the NO from red blood cells, powering blood flow to brain, heart, and muscles.1,2

More Nitric Oxide Means Better Health And Performance.

Effective exercise is known to improve strength, endurance, and health.

Exercise increases nitric oxide to promote blood flow and oxygen delivery to brain, heart, and muscles.

By measuring muscle oxygenation and nitric oxide in real time, NNOXX provides the most accurate measure of effective exercise and performance.

Need even more science? Let's dig even deeper.

Need more science?

Read on.

The effects of nitric oxide depend on its source. Nitric oxide released from red blood cells plays an essential role in delivering oxygen to tissues. 

Nitric oxide is carried by hemoglobin in red blood cells together with oxygen. Both nitric oxide and oxygen are loaded onto hemoglobin in the lungs and delivered to tissues. Nitric oxide opens small blood vessels so that red blood cells can enter the tissues to deliver oxygen. 

Higher amounts of nitric oxide means greater blood flow and oxygen delivery to brain, heart, and muscle. Nitric oxide released from red blood cells is the body’s way of maximizing performance and healthy exercise.

“Nitric oxide measurements in the field are referred to in terms of bioactivity. For example, the Nobel prize for nitric oxide in fact measured the vasodilator activity derived from the endothelium. NNOXX measures amounts of nitric oxide bioactivity derived from red blood cells to control blood flow that supplies oxygen to tissues. The amounts of nitric oxide measured by NNOXX are relative and therefore specific to the individual, in much the same way that amounts of oxygen in muscles are also relative to individuals. Higher nitric oxide means improved performance and effectiveness of an individual’s exercise. But levels should not be compared between individuals.”

-Dr. Jonathan Stamler

President Of the Harrington Discovery Institute

The Importance Of Measuring Nitric Oxide And Muscle Oxygenation.

Effective exercise supplies oxygen to tissues, including brain, heart, and muscles.

Most wearables on the market measure the amount of oxygen in the blood, but its the amount of oxygen delivered to tissues that matters.

Nitric oxide controls the delivery of oxygen to tissues by increasing blood flow. Without nitric oxide, muscles become starved of oxygen.4,6

In fact, the chairman of NNOXX’s scientific advisory board, Dr. Jonathan Stamler, showed that both mice and humans unable to release nitric oxide from red blood cells were profoundly deprived of oxygen due to lack of blood flow.4,6

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  2. Premont RT, Reynolds JD, Zhang R, Stamler JS. Role of Nitric Oxide Carried by Hemoglobin in Cardiovascular Physiology: Developments on a Three-Gas Respiratory Cycle. Circ Res. 2020 Jan 3;126(1):129-158. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.119.315626. Epub 2019 Oct 8. PMID: 31590598; PMCID: PMC7034631.
  3. Premont RT, Stamler JS. Essential Role of Hemoglobin βCys93 in Cardiovascular Physiology. Physiology (Bethesda). 2020 Jul 1;35(4):234-243. doi: 10.1152/physiol.00040.2019. PMID: 32490751; PMCID: PMC7474257
  4. Reynolds, J. D., Posina, K., Zhu, L., Jenkins, T., Matto, F., Hausladen, A., … & Stamler, J. S. (2023). Control Of Tissue Oxygenation By S-nitrosohemoglobin In Human Subjects. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 9(120). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2220769120
  5. Stamler JS, Jia L, Eu JP, McMahon TJ, Demchenko IT, Bonaventura J, Gernert K, Piantadosi CA. Blood flow regulation by S-nitrosohemoglobin in the physiological oxygen gradient. Science. 1997 Jun 27;276(5321):2034-7. doi: 10.1126/science.276.5321.2034. PMID: 9197264.
  6. Zhang R, Hess DT, Qian Z, Hausladen A, Fonseca F, Chaube R, Reynolds JD, Stamler JS. Hemoglobin βCys93 is essential for cardiovascular function and integrated response to hypoxia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 May 19;112(20):6425-30. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1502285112. Epub 2015 Mar 25. Erratum in: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 May 26;112(21):E2846. PMID: 25810253; PMCID: PMC4443356.