Could Nitric Oxide Also Prolong Life?

Yes you read correctly, Nitric oxide, the key component found in, or manufactured via pre-workout supplements such as BSN NO-Xplode, Scivation Novem, Gaspari Nutrition Superpump Max or Optimum Health Ultimate Pre-Workout…Oh yes, I nearly forgot, it’s also found in Viagra! 

Now I’m always cautious not to make sweeping statements about the findings from one promising study, and I am even more dubious when the findings are on animals and not humans. However, the role of nitric oxide in promoting blood flow, enhancing nervous transmission, regulating immune function and prolonging exercise is very well established, therefore the idea that this may in fact prolong life may not be all that radical! 

The theory is that nitric oxide may be able protect the body from environmental stress as well as cumulatively boosting heart, circulatory and nervous system health. The original findings were identified in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, a worm used mainly in studies designed to target ageing, and the results were quite extraordinary. When the worms were fed bacteria containing nitric oxide the scientists noted how the worms lived 50% longer than their wiggly counterparts, and 15% longer than their average life expectancy. We already know that nitric oxide levels seem to decline as we age, hence many people train with it in order to enhance their natural levels. The nitric oxide in the worms acted on a very specific set of genes resulting in a high resistance to stress, promoting longer life.

The results are not conclusive and obviously need to be applied to humans before they can be of any benefit, but none the less very interesting findings indeed!

NOTE: Nitric oxide is safe, but if you have an underlying medical condition, always remember to check with your Doctor should you decide to commence a pre- workout or nitric oxide based supplement regimen. 


Gusarov, I., Gautier, L., Smolentseva, O., Shamovsky, I., Eremina,S., Mironov, A., and Nudler, E. (2013). Bacterial Nitric Oxide Extends the Lifespan of C. elegans. Cell. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2012.12.043

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Biogerontology Research Foundation, and the Dynasty Foundation.

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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