New Research: Nitric Oxide Beneficial During COVID-19

New Research: Nitric Oxide Beneficial During COVID-19

Written by Nutritional Copy Writer, Antonia Brogna

Back in 2003, researchers tested nitric oxide and its impact on the SARS outbreak and found great success. Now, some researchers are reporting that nitric oxide (NO) could be beneficial when it comes to COVID-19. 

During the SARS epidemic, researchers administered low doses of NO to patients in the form of an inhaled gas. They found that the gas “helped reduce inflammation in the patients’ lungs”. They also found that a particular form of nitric oxide, specifically released from S-Nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP), had a “distinct antiviral ability”. 

Researchers from Uppsala University and the Karolinska Institute tried this same treatment on patients facing COVID-19. COVID-19 is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2, which is similar to the coronavirus that caused SARS. Researchers hoped that this similarity might also mean they could take a similar approach to treatment methods. Ultimately, they found once again that the inhalation of nitric oxide, especially from SNAP, “helped with treatment and also had an antiviral effect”. They also noted that the treatment improved as the dosage of SNAP increased. 


“Until we get a vaccine that works, our hope is that inhalation of nitric oxide might be an effective form of treatment,” Åke Lundkvist, a professor at Uppsala University and leader of this new study, said. “The dosage and timing of starting treatment probably plays an important part in the outcome, and now needs to be explored as soon as possible.”

More about nitric oxide

Nitric oxide is a compound that is naturally produced in your body. It is used for a multitude of functions, including regulating the tension in blood vessels, as well as the blood flow between and inside of your body’s organs. It is vital for making sure blood, oxygen, and nutrients are flowing throughout the body. Low levels of NO can lead to fatigue, insomnia, memory loss, high blood pressure, and diminished heart function, according to Oubre Medical Functional Medicine

InVite Health’s podcast host, Amanda Williams, MPH, further discussed the importance of NO in one of her podcast episodes. “Low levels of nitric oxide in the body can be linked to conditions like high blood pressure as a primary example,” she said. “Without adequate levels of nitric oxide, we can have excessive vaso-constriction, or tight blood vessels that can lead to issues with blood circulation.” According to Williams, red beet root and the skin of the Montmorency tart cherry have been studied for its benefit in improving the long-term release of nitric oxide in the body.† 

For more updates on COVID-19, as well as nutrients that can benefit your body, make sure to tune into the InVite Health podcast, available anytime on our website. 

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