Nitrates, Nitrites, Nitric Oxide and Nitrous


Nitrous Oxide, the tasteless, odorless gas used in dentistry to help ease anxiety and sedate a patient is very different from nitrates and nitric oxide.

Nitrates are the food and beverage additives used to preserve food, add flavor or color and are know to cause digestive upset and headaches. When consumed, nitrates are generally converted nitrites and then into nitric oxide.  As we get older our ability to convert nitrates to nitric xide is impaired and becomes less effective so supplementation becomes useful.  Regular aerobic exercise is also efficacious in improving the conversion process.  Time in the sun also has been helpful in boosting nitric oxide levels as well as supplementation with arginine and citrulline, ingesting beets and food sources high in arginine, citrulline, and glutathione such as meats, watermelon and other fruits as well as vegetables.

So although dental nitrous, or nitrous oxide also contains nitrogen it is very different!