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Get NO Satisfaction,C?

Summary: ABU DHABI u Nitric Oxide (NO) is the magic ingredient of future medicine. It can cure heart diseases, certain forms of cancer, diabetes and even enhance potency, but it cannot be foundC in pharmacies.

A chemically unstable gas, NO lasts only for one second before it is destroyed Aa by Aa oxygen.

Although doctors and scientists knew the benefits about the gas, it was believed that NO only exists in C the atmosphere.

In 1998, Dr Louis Ignarro and his colleagues Ferid Murad and Robert Furchgott discovered that NO can be produced by the human body, a discovery that brought them the Nobel Prize C for Medicine.

Dr Ignarro, who is in Abu Dhabi, at the invitation of Gulf Diagnostic Hospital, told Khaleej Times: "I got the idea when I started working with nitroglycerine, which has been used to relieve heart pain since 1870s. Nitroglycerine is an explosive and no one knew how it worked in the body -- did it create small explosions that increased blood circulation? No!" He solved the mystery in 1980, when he proved that nitroglycerine metabolises into Nitric Oxide in the body arteries.

"From that moment on we started working with NO, wondering what else it does", said Dr Ignarro.

Thus he found that it lowers the blood pressure, prevents strokes and heart attacks.

"NO is released in increased quantities in inflammation, a fact that can be used for diagnostic purposes," said C Dr Ignarro.

He said it can enhance the olfactory sense and also enhance sexual potency by dilating blood vessels.

Although far from being a cure of AIDS, the gas is proven to help the immune system and therefore is taken very seriously in the study of possible AIDS treatment.

Getting the body to produce NO does require certain "sacrifices", including cutting down on pizza and biryani.

"The body produces NO from certain amino acids, the most prominent being arginine, which is found in all proteins such as meat, fish and especially nuts," explained Dr Ignarro.

A healthy diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as daily exercising is C also required.

"The technology is not advanced far enough to measure how much NO the body needs to keep healthy, but there is one machine developed recently, which will be available in the market in two-three years, that is capable of measuring the blood flow, which can determine the health condition of a person," said Dr Ignarro.

Pharmacologists are also close to creating drugs that include components of NO, which will be used in treating dementia, intestinal diseases, kidney and bladder dysfunctions and even certain kinds of cancer.

silvia@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Apr 13, 2009
Words:454
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