Nitric Oxide: A Morning Activity Seriously Damaging Your Health

How We Kill the Bacteria That Produce Nitric Oxide


Nitric oxide protects the lining of your blood vessels (the endothelium). In turn, this ensures you are protected against high blood pressure –a disease affecting 2 out of 3 Americans— diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Erectile Dysfunction.

If your body doesn’t produce enough nitric oxide, your organs and vessels do not receive the blood flow they need.

Nitric oxide is converted from nitrates to nitrites by the bacteria in your mouth. How do you kill them? (1) By using mouthwash; (2) by using fluoride toothpaste, and (3) by drinking fluoridated water.

Bottom line: Stop doing any of these 3 things.

Transcript of the video

By Dr. Vikki Petersen

Sometimes, some very simple activities make a huge impact in your health, for the good or the bad. We’re going to talk today about nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide: How is it produced?

3D illustration of the Lewis structure of a nitric oxide (NO) molecule - 350pxYou might have heard about nitrates, nitrites. The story is that you get nitrates from food, predominantly dark green, leafy vegetables. We know those are healthy for us. Then you have to convert that “nitrate” into “nitrite”. And who does that? How does that happen? It happens in your mouth by bacteria.

We talk so much about the microbiome and the 38 trillion organisms and your gut and how they do so many wonderful things for us when they’re healthy and anti-inflammatory. And if they’re the evil kind of microbes, they create a lot of ill effects. This is starting right at the start of your digestive tract, which is your mouth. So the microbes in the bacteria in your mouth actually do this conversion of nitrate to nitrite.

Nitric oxide: How does it work in your body?

Why is that important? Because then you can take that reserve of nitrites and make nitric oxide. The amount of research that’s been done on nitric oxide is amazing. Nobel Prizes have been awarded to researchers. A researcher I was just listening to spent two decades of his life doing this.

Nitric oxide is a phenomenal compound, but it’s a gas. It only lasts in your body less than one second. However, the trickle-down effects of when you create it and what it does are phenomenal. It affects what’s called your endothelium. That’s the lining of your blood vessels. You want your blood vessels to pump blood, but also relax enough that you don’t have high blood pressure.

Nitric oxide: What if you lack of it?

If you don’t have enough nitric oxide, you have high blood pressure. You can also get diabetes. What about [a lack of] blood flow to the brain? Dementia and Alzheimer’s is involved.

Erectile Dysfunction. For men, the artery in the penis is very small. So when a man starts to have Erectile Dysfunction, it’s usually a harbinger of short time later getting cardiovascular disease. I’m not going to quote the exact number of years, but I recently heard a quote of a man gets Erectile Dysfunction. And n number of years later (I think it was around 7 to 15) could be having a heart attack because this wasn’t handled. It’s definitely something to pay attention to as far as circulation (is concerned).

Nitric oxide: How do we destroy it?

Getting back to our nitric oxide, which is a gas and lasts less than a second, but has these far-reaching effects on circulation and the health of the lining of the blood vessels, and getting back to the mouth, we need these healthy bacteria in our mouth in order to convert to the nitrites that then make nitric oxide.

So what are we doing that could possibly be destroying our oral bacteria?

#1: Mouthwash

Honestly, I was a little surprised. I don’t watch TV very much, so I don’t see the commercials, but I remember back when I was a kid, there was Listerine and various mouthwashes that you had (to use) to “kill that bad bacteria in your mouth” and “prevent cavities and gingivitis”, and all these things.

I just didn’t think it was that much in vogue, but I was absolutely wrong. Turns out two-thirds of Americans use mouthwash every morning and they’re killing the good bacteria in their mouth.

#2: Fluoride

If you’re using fluoride-based toothpaste, you absolutely want to stop because that’s killing these bacteria. Setting you up for what? High blood pressure, Erectile Dysfunction, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. These are very serious diseases. And what an easy fix to just stop using mouthwash and change your toothpaste out for a non-fluoride based toothpaste!

Some of you might be going, wait a second, my dentist absolutely insists on a fluoride-based toothpaste. Fluoride is a neurotoxin. It damages your thyroid. I never allowed my children to get fluoride treatments.

#3: Fluoridated water

Another insidious way that fluoride enters your system is through our water systems. Getting a water purifier will take the fluoride out. The researcher I mentioned earlier said it’s absolutely been documented that holding onto your good bacteria provides much more health benefits than any potential protection of your teeth that fluoride might provide, or mouthwash might provide. The pros outweigh the cons, very much so in this.

Tomorrow I’m going to be talking more about nitric oxide. It’s a fascinating compound, and it is not something that’s easy to measure in humans because it’s gas: it’s here… it’s gone… within less than a second. It’s gone, but it has far-reaching effects and [it’s interesting to learn] what we can do to enhance the production and conversion from the nitrates we’re eating to the nitrites, and then the body being able to make this gas. So the gas doesn’t last long, but if you have the ability to make it, of course you can using it and keep having these amazing benefits.

I hope you found that helpful. Anybody you know who is a mouthwash user, please tell them about this because such a simple thing to change, a way to save some money and really enhance your health.

About Root Cause Medical Clinic

The medical team of Root Cause Medical Clinic approaches the restoration of your health from the standpoint of finding out what is at the very basis of your ailments. The symptoms are not the root cause. Treating the symptoms does not remedy the root cause. Root cause medicine considers your body has a whole system, with organs contributing to each other’s functions. Finding the root cause through thorough examination and extensive lab testing is at the core of our medical approach. Once the root cause is found, our specialists treat it in a concerted manner: internal medicine, nutrition, chiropractic care, and physical therapy. There is often some lifestyle changes required to remove the stressors preventing your body to heal itself. If you are willing to make these few lifestyle changes, your body will regain its ability to repair itself and your health will improve.

If you are curious about the Root Cause approach and truly wish to improve you health, call our front desk at 727-335-0400 to schedule a consultation.

Additional resources

Basics about Nitric Oxide: A Scientific Paper by Richard Bruckdorfer
Read our article about the best foods to help your body generate Nitric Oxide

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