Nitric Oxide is Boosted Best by...........Chili Peppers

March 05, 2023

Nitric Oxide Boosted BEST by.......Chili Peppers

When the august American Heart Association has a paper presented at its annual meeting that the consumption of chili peppers reduces heart disease mortality 26%, cancer 23%, and all-cause mortality 25%, you just have to sit up and take notice. Compare this to the all-cause mortality reduction of statins of 0.49%, and you might be observed rolling your eyes. Which would you opt for? A 25% reduction or a 0.49% reduction? Think long and hard. Then ask, "How is this credible and what is the massive benefit from? How is it mediated?" 

The answer is elegant and simple. It's been missed because it is so hard to measure. Nitric oxide. NO is a gas that doesn't hang around to be measured without very careful clinical research. But you now know that NO plays a key role at the forefront of all the metabolic processes that lead to cardiovascular disease: diabetes, high blood pressure, and inflammation. If we focus on NO, the benefit to heart disease, cancer, and even all-cause mortality makes sense. You want to create a lifestyle that increases your NO production as you age. 

Chilis are grown everywhere and can be purchased for pennies. In fact, since their discovery in the New World by Columbus and dissemination throughout the world, chilis have become intrinsic components of Chinese, Indian, Thai and many other cuisines. Just go to the grocery store and see the "hot sauces" that have proliferated. What used to be a few names now covers hundreds of brands. 

Do we understand the actual pathophysiology of capsaicin on various tissues? Yes. There appear to be several effects on various proteins and enzymes that are affected by capsaicin that is absorbed in the range that humans eating spicy foods would eat. The TRPV1 receptor (Transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1) affects calcium flow across membranes. TRPV1 is widely expressed throughout the whole body, including sensory nerve fibers controlling insulin release from pancreatic beta cells. The increase in Ca acts rapidly to stimulate endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity via binding of the Ca2+/calmodulin complex; in addition, Ca-mediated activation of AMPK and Sirt1 stimulates eNOS activity by modifying its phosphorylation and acetylation status. If you can navigate all that complex language you can simplify it to NO goes up with chilis. There you have it. You want up.

www.What will Work for me? Chilis are an acquired taste. On first exposure, most folks are a bit taken aback. But you become adopted and then you really like it. I have found that a range of products with lots of chilies is easy to add to your cuisine. Spicy Chili Crisp is a Chinese brand with fermented soybeans, chilis and onions that is my current favorite. A dab of that on my deviled eggs and I'm in heaven. I measured my NO level in response 15 minutes after, and didn't see much rise. Perhaps I need more.

References: Biomedicine and Pharm, Am Jr. Prevent Cardiology, Int Jr Vit Nutr Resrch, American Heart Assoc, Br Jr Clin Pharm, New Mexico State Chili Pepper Center, Open Heart, Cell, LegalNomads, Dr Trouble,

Pop Quiz 

1. Chilis were found first where?                            Answer: Probably in Andes/Bolivia and then spread up to Mexico and the Caribbean, where Columbus tasted and liked them, taking them back to Spain. The race was on. 

2. The chili pepper makes the chemical _____________ that has all of its "heat" and biochemical effect.             Answer: Capsaicin. The Carolina Reaper has some 2,000,000 Scoville units and is currently listed as the "hottest" but there are competitors nipping at its rank. You can watch $ 1,000 being won to eat it. A green bell pepper has 0 capsaicin.

3. And what mechanism is going on inside your cells that is beneficial for enduring this insane taste?           Answer: Activate the TRVP1 receptor that puts out calcium. And that activates eNOS, making Nitric Oxide. NO does all the good things we have covered in the last four weeks. 

4. Remember four weeks ago? How much does NO decrease per decade?                          Answer: 12%. If you are 60, you are down 75%. This might be the dominant engine driving aging. 

5. What is a sane way to increase NO?                            Answer: Don't use mouthwash. Don't use fluoride toothpaste. Eat lots of green, leafy vegetables. Infrared saunas help. Exercise helps. Take a NO booster from the N1O1 company. Twice a day. This is the first credible product to market other than the beetroot supplements. There will be more. And eventually cheaper. It's probably a habit you should get in to.