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Nitric Oxide and Low Glucose Increase Calorie Restriction Benefits

Paul McGlothin

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My friend, Al Pater, posted a livingthecrway press release about the extraordinary effect of nitric oxide and low glucose on CR benefits. Here is my response:


I have practiced calorie restriction for almost twenty years. During that period I have always been on the lookout for opportunities to enhance CR benefits, while not conflicting with CR biochemistry. One of them evolved quite unexpectedly from a personal multi-year project, looking at the effects of sunlight on vitamin D production during the summer months, compared to use of the new, safe narrow band health lamp from Solarc, which I planned to use during fall and winter.


I had anticipated that vitamin D. production would be quite efficient, and that was the case. In only 8 weeks of mid-day summer sun, averaging 20 minutes a day 4 times a week, my vitamin D levels rose to the middle of the reference range.


When the benefits of sun exposure wane with the fall season here in the northeastern United States, I began to use the Solarc Health Lamp. I was amazed at how effectively it produced Vitamin D. It took less time – only five weeks -- and less than half of the weekly exposure time – only 24 minutes!


However, Vitamin D production was not the principal reason that I wanted to test ultraviolet exposure. The real motivation was to see if it would produce additional benefits.


Of course, I didn’t do this on my own. A team of doctors helped, including two particularly relevant and incisive medics: an endocrinologist and a dermatologist. I was heartened by reassurances from my dermatologist, who uses the narrow band lamps to treat skin diseases like psoriasis. Having worked with hundreds of patients, he has not noticed an increase in melanomas resulting from treatment, quite the opposite: He’s seen a dramatic decrease of coincidental carcinomas – down to zero!


Another pleasant surprise: The health lamp produced lower blood pressure, amazing glucose levels, and increases in mental acuity. My tests in these three areas are already fine, so I had not anticipated anything noticeable. And, indeed, blood pressure remained in the 88/58-90/60 range – the same as it was when I first tested at Wash U about 11 years ago. HbA1c was a surprise – dropping to 4.2 from an already excellent 4.8 – the lowest result ever seen in a healthy subject by my endocrinologist. Meanwhile, my performance in chess leagues where I compete was significantly improved.


This is probably not a vitamin D effect. It more likely evolves from nitric oxide. New research shows that upon sun exposure, NO is absorbed into the system. Here’s more about that: Is sunlight good for our heart?


Note that low calories and glucose also activate NO production via AMPKinase. Here’s more about that:


Nitric oxide and AMPK cooperatively regulate PGC-1 in skeletal muscle cells.

Journal of Physiology. 2010 Sep 15;588(Pt 18):3551-66. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.194035. Epub 2010 Jul 19.

Lira VA, Brown DL, Lira AK, Kavazis AN, Soltow QA, Zeanah EH, Criswell DS..

Center for Exercise Science, DepT. of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.




These data identify the AMPKα1 isoform as the mediator of NO-induced effects in skeletal muscle cells. Further, this study supports a proposed model of synergistic interaction between AMPK and NOS that is critical for maintenance of metabolic function in skeletal muscle cells.


PMID:20643772. NIH, NLM, PubMed access to MEDLINE




Nitric oxide also has positive effects on the brain:



Nitric oxide is a volume transmitter regulating postsynaptic excitability at a glutamatergic synapse.

Neuron. 2008 Nov 26;60(4):642-56. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.08.025.

Steinert JR, Kopp-Scheinpflug C, Baker C, Challiss RA, Mistry R,Haustein MD, Griffin SJ, Tong H, Graham BP, Forsythe ID.

MRC Toxicology Unit, Hodgkin Building, University of Leicester,Leicester LE1 9HN, UK.




Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) is broadly expressed in the brain and associated with synaptic plasticity through NMDAR [N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor, when excessively stimulated may cause cognitive defects in of Alzheimer's disease.]-mediated calcium influx. However, its physiological activation and the mechanisms by which nitric oxide (NO) influences synaptic transmission have proved elusive.



We conclude that NO serves as a volume transmitter and slow dynamic modulator, integrating spontaneous and evoked neuronal firing, thereby providing an index of global activity and regulating information transmission across a population of active and inactive neurons.


PMID:1903822. NIH, NLM, PubMed access to MEDLINE


Memberships in LivingTheCRWay.com support DNA, Healthy Aging, and Calorie restriction, a new, joint research project launched by the CR Society, and LivingTheCRWay.


Wishing you extraordinary health,





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