Nitric oxide supplements work as vasodilators, but what happens with vasodilation? Find out how this process may benefit your health.
When the smooth muscles in your blood vessels (arteries, major veins) relax, they widen, causing vasodilation. This is a natural response that is meant to increase blood flow and oxygen delivery throughout the body. The following is an overview of this process, how it can benefit you, and how you can help promote it.
Since vasodilation increases blood circulation, a doctor may sometimes induce it as a way to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and other conditions. For example, if you have pulmonary hypertension, preeclampsia or eclampsia, or heart failure, your doctor will help induce it to lower your blood pressure and increase the delivery of drugs and oxygen throughout your body.
There are various factors that lead to vasodilation such as exercise, alcohol, inflammation, natural chemicals, and vasodilators. For instance, when you exercise, your body naturally responds with vasodilation to deliver extra oxygen and nutrients to your muscles.
Vasodilation is also an important contrast to vasoconstriction, which is when your arteries and blood vessels narrow. Because of this, your heart needs to work harder to circulate your blood, which can lead to high blood pressure.
Because it widens your blood vessels, vasodilation increases your circulation and naturally lowers your blood pressure. However, in some cases, this may lead to hypotension (low blood pressure), which can result in nausea, blurred vision, dizziness, and more.
Vasodilation also assists inflammation, a process that helps repair damage due to injury or disease and protects the body against harmful pathogens. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease can trigger inflammation and vasodilation.
Several factors can affect vasodilation such as temperature, weight, age, and altitude. For example, when the environment around you becomes too warm, your body starts vasodilation to direct blood flow to the skin to help excess body heat escape.
Weight is another factor that affects vasodilation, as obesity makes blood vessels more resistant to the process, increasing the risk of high blood pressure and related cardiovascular disease. Age can also affect it, as the blood vessels become stiffer as you age, making them less able to constrict and dilate.
For the most part, vasodilation is a beneficial process, especially if you have high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions. Your doctor may even prescribe vasodilators to help lower your blood press and ease any strain on your heart muscle.
However, you can also take supplements that help promote vasodilation like L-arginine Plus. It works by promoting the production of nitric oxide, a natural vasodilator that boosts circulation, blood pressure health, and more. To learn more about this supplement and see if it’s the right fit for your needs, read our L-arginine Plus reviews.