Nitric oxide is a naturally-occurring compound in the body and is also available as a performance-boosting supplement for athletes. Nitric oxide supplements are typically used to increase cardiovascular endurance and reduce recovery time from injury, but they can also improve cardiovascular wellness and bone and joint health, as well as increase the ability to perform learning and memory tasks.
Nitric oxide is primarily recognized for its role as a vasodilator in the cardiovascular system — the compound acts to relax the walls of blood vessels throughout the body, thereby increasing blood flow and preventing the development of high blood pressure. The compound also slows the development of cardiovascular disease by preventing the formation of plaque on the inner walls of blood vessels. Finally, nitric oxide is important in maintaining effective pumping action of the heart; if there is not enough nitric oxide present, the heart may not pump efficiently enough to deliver blood to all parts of the body.