Welcome! This blog contains research & information on lifestyle, nutrition and health for those with MS, as well as continuing information on the understanding of the endothelium and heart-brain connection. This blog is informative only--all medical decisions should be discussed with your own physicians.

The posts are searchable---simply type in your topic of interest in the search box at the top left.

Almost all of MS research is initiated and funded by pharmaceutical companies. This maintains the EAE mouse model and the auto-immune paradigm of MS, and continues the 20 billion dollar a year MS treatment industry. But as we learn more about slowed blood flow, gray matter atrophy, and environmental links to MS progression and disability--all things the current drugs do not address--we're discovering more about how to help those with MS.

To learn how this journey began, read my first post from August, 2009. Be well! Joan

Monday, January 30, 2012

What's the difference between nitrous oxide and nitric oxide?

January 30, 2012 at 2:53pm

I get this question a lot.  Thought I'd take the time to break it down in English (as opposed to chemistry talk, which still makes my head spin.) 

Nitric Oxide (NO) is NOT the same as Nitrous Oxide (N2O).
Nitric Oxide is one molecule of nitrogen, one of oxygen.
Nitrous Oxide has 2 molecules of nitrogen, and one of oxygen.
And that extra molecule of nitrogen changes the gas completely.

Nitrous Oxide (N2O) has been getting some press recently, since Demi Moore was hospitalized for inhaling canned Nitrous Oxide (in a form called "whippets") and having a seizure.  Nitrous oxide is used in aerosol cans, to propel whipped cream or cooking spray out of the bottle.

Nitrous Oxide (N20) is what they give you at the dentist's office, also called "laughing gas."  I had my wisdom teeth out on Nitrous Oxide, and it made me so loopy, I was laughing while the oral surgeon was sawing into my jawbone to remove my impacted wisdom teeth.  It's powerful stuff.  And should not be used recreationally.

What I started writing about and investigating for Jeff's health was nitric oxide.

Nitric Oxide (NO) is a tiny, 2 atom gas that is the hallmark of healthy vascular function.  It is the signaling factor that controls the body's vascular tone, and levels of inflammation, coagulation and oxidation.  It controls the endothelium, or the lining of all of our blood vessels.  It's good for you.

NO has been show to protect the heart, stimulate the brain, and kill bacteria, thus playing a pivotal role in a wide variety of diseases and conditions.

If the lining of our blood vessels become damaged and the NO levels become imbalanced, cells which should remain in the blood can leak through blood vessels and into adjacent body tissue. Some of the leaked cells can include proteins, such as the C-reactive protein, which is produced by the liver and causes inflammation. When NO in inhibited, endothelial signaling can become impaired, and disease may result. 

The Endothelial Health program discusses ways to enhance nitric oxide bioavailability in our bodies, and to maintain healthy immune systems and vascular systems.  This does not mean taking nitric oxide supplements....it means healthy living for healthy blood vessels.

Here's the program I created for Jeff, for those who may not have checked it out yet---

Chemistry is important...one extra molecule can make a big difference!

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