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The Crucial Role of Nitric Oxide in Heart Health and Disease Prevention

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Glass of Fresh beetroot juice

Nitric oxide (NO) is a simple molecule with life-saving potential, playing a pivotal role in cardiovascular health. This naturally occurring gas, synthesized by nearly every type of cell in the human body, is fundamental to maintaining and protecting our heart and blood vessels. Let’s learn more about NO. 

How Nitric Oxide Functions in the Body

Nitric oxide is produced by the endothelial cells lining the arteries, using the amino acid L-arginine as its primary ingredient. Once released, nitric oxide exerts a powerful vasodilatory effect—meaning it relaxes the contracted muscles of the blood vessel walls, causing them to widen. This dilation improves blood flow and reduces blood pressure, which is crucial for preventing hypertension—a major risk factor for heart disease and strokes.

Moreover, nitric oxide inhibits the aggregation of platelets, preventing the formation of clots that can lead to heart attacks. It also reduces inflammation within the vascular system, which is critical since chronic inflammation can lead to atherosclerosis, where arteries narrow and harden, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The Impact of Nitric Oxide on Blood Pressure and Heart Health

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is often called the “silent killer” because it typically has no symptoms but dramatically increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. By promoting vasodilation, nitric oxide ensures that blood flows more freely throughout the body, thereby decreasing blood pressure. Consistently good levels of nitric oxide can help maintain arterial health, which is a key factor in preventing hypertension and subsequent cardiac complications.

Preventing Heart Attacks with Nitric Oxide

Heart attacks primarily occur due to obstructed blood flow to the heart, often caused by blood clots. Nitric oxide’s ability to prevent platelet aggregation plays a significant role in minimizing this risk. Additionally, by mitigating the effects of endothelial dysfunction (a precursor to atherosclerosis), nitric oxide helps keep arteries flexible and free from plaques that can trigger a cardiac event.

Sources and Supplements: Boosting Nitric Oxide Levels Naturally

The body’s ability to produce nitric oxide diminishes with age and poor lifestyle choices such as inactivity, smoking, and an unhealthy diet. However, one can enhance nitric oxide production through diet and lifestyle adjustments. 

Here are our Top 10 Foods to Boost Nitric Oxide:

  1. Meat/Seafood/Eggs: These are excellent sources of CoQ10, which is vital for nitric oxide production and arginine, the amino acid that makes NO. 
  2. Beets: High in nitrates, beets are proven to support vasodilation and blood pressure reduction.
  3. Dark Chocolate (raw cacao): While chocolate often contains sugar, the raw cacao bean is a powerhouse of antioxidants and a promoter of nitric oxide production. Opt for sugar-free, dairy-free dark chocolate varieties.
  4. Citrus: Oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, which helps protect nitric oxide molecules from free radical damage and boosts nitric oxide production.
  5. Walnuts: These nuts are not only a good source of heart-healthy vitamin E but also contain high levels of L-arginine, aiding in blood vessel health.
  6. Pomegranate: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to reduce oxidative stress, pomegranate also helps in the nitric oxide conversion process.
  7. Arugula: This leafy green is the highest known source of nitrates, perfect for boosting nitric oxide levels.
  8. Spinach: Another nitrate-rich vegetable, spinach is versatile and nutrient-dense.
  9. Watermelon: Rich in L-citrulline, watermelon helps enhance nitric oxide production more efficiently than direct L-arginine supplementation.
  10. Garlic: Although low in nitrates, garlic stimulates the production of nitric oxide synthase, which is crucial for nitric oxide synthesis.

Supplements such as L-arginine and L-citrulline can also help increase nitric oxide synthesis. L-citrulline is particularly effective as it is converted into L-arginine in the body, which then produces nitric oxide. The NHD product Vessel Support contains both of these nitric oxide boosters. Mixed perfectly with our organic beetroot powder

Regular physical activity is another vital component of increasing nitric oxide levels. Exercise stimulates the production of nitric oxide synthase enzymes that catalyze the formation of nitric oxide from L-arginine. We love high intensity interval training. Try it at home with the Carol Bike

Finally, sunshine is fantastic at increasing nitric oxide levels. The UV light rays hit the stored nitrate in the skin to release NO!


Nitric oxide is not just a molecule; it’s a cardiovascular protector whose adequate presence in our bodies is vital for maintaining heart health and preventing disease. By understanding and leveraging the ways to enhance its production—through diet, supplements, and lifestyle choices—we can significantly influence our cardiovascular health, ensuring a stronger, healthier heart. As research continues to uncover the expansive roles of nitric oxide in health and disease, it remains a cornerstone in the prevention and management of heart disease.


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Dr. Keith Smigiel is a regenerative medicine physician and pain management specialist. He takes an integrative approach to medicine, focusing on customized solutions tailored to individual needs. Using advanced, non-surgical treatments, Dr. Smigiel stimulates your body’s ability to naturally heal itself.

Dr. Smigiel helps people suffering from conditions such as chronic pain and erectile dysfunction, to hair loss and weight gain. Combining treatments such as PRP Therapy, Ozone, Neural Prolotherapy, and IV Infusions with functional rehabilitation, he helps you look and feel better.

He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

Dr. Smigiel is married to Angela and has two children, Sophia and Larz. When he’s not busy helping patients, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, motocross, and boating.

About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

Beyond guideline-directed therapies, Kneller is passionate about optimized personal health. With a deep interest in complimentary alternative medicine (CAM), he strives to reduce the need for pharmaceuticals, invasive procedures, and exposure to harmful radiation. With Natural Heart Doctor, he strives to help each and every client to Live Well, Eat Well, and Think Well to attain their 100-year heart!

About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

Dr. Lattanza Office Visit with Patient

As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

Dr. Wolfson Office Visit with Patient

Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

He has been named one of America’s Top Functional Medicine Doctors and is a five-time winner of the Natural Choice Awards as a holistic M.D. Dr. Wolfson’s work has been covered by more than 100 media outlets, including NBC, CNN, and the Washington Post. His book “The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health” was an Amazon #1 best-seller.

Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.


Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.


Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

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Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

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Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

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Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.