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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Jan 20

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.11640-8

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Nitric oxide and its role in exercise physiology

Onur ORAL

Faculty of Sports Sciences, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey


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INTRODUCTION: NO is quite an essential molecule for human metabolism since it plays an active role in body functions. In the past 20 years, nitric oxide has become a milestone in terms of both athlete physiology and pharmacology studies. The most known and remarkable function of NO is its role in controlling vasodilatation, blood rate, and mitochondrial respiration and thus enhance performance. Therefore, it can be argued that exercise and NO have a positive relationship.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: In the search for scientific literature related to this review the US National Library of Medicine (PubMed) used MEDLINE and SportDiscus data and the terms “NO”, “physical exercise”, “vasodilatation”, and “performance enhancement” were used. The relevant literature has also taken its source from the research of relevant articles from reference lists derived from data studies.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESISː It is observed that there is a relationship between physical activity and nitric oxide, and it is demonstrated that physical activity enhances NO production. NO is supposed to improve sports performance, promote recovery, and also benefit the athlete's health with its physiological support in vasodilatation, blood flow, and mitochondrial respiration.
CONCLUSIONS: The relationship between physical activity and nitric oxide is without a doubt. There is concrete evidence that physical activity enhances NO production. Exercise should be recommended for increasing the level of NO for athletes and also for patients with cardiovascular disorders for therapy.


KEY WORDS: Physical exercise; NO; Nitric oxide; Vasodilatation

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