Low Nitric Oxide Symptoms: What Causes Nitric Oxide Deficiency

Symptoms of low nitric oxide include depression, fatigue, and poor vision. Discover what causes NO deficiency, and what to do to increase nitric oxide levels.

The Promescent Team
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by The Promescent Team Last updated 12/11/2023




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Nitric Oxide Deficiency

Our bodies naturally produce the signaling compound nitric oxide (NO). But, as we age, nitric oxide production drops, and it may require a little replenishing.

When we experience a deficiency in nitric oxide, it affects our overall physical and mental health. The symptoms can include high blood pressure, changes in vision, depression, and memory loss.

Quick FAQs

Symptoms of low nitric oxide include depression, fatigue, memory loss, and erectile dysfunction.

Some common causes of nitric oxide deficiency include aging, living a sedentary lifestyle, and taking certain medications such as antibiotics.

A nitric oxide deficiency can be treated through regular exercise, managing stress, or taking a nitric oxide supplement.

Let's look at all the causes of nitric oxide deficiency and natural ways to refill the NO tank.

Nitric Oxide Functions

Nitric oxide is a gas that's synthesized from L-arginine by enzymes known as nitric oxide synthases (NOS). The family of NOS includes endothelial (eNOS), neuronal (nNOS), and inducible (iNOS), which all play different roles in our bodies.

  • Vasodilator: NO relaxes the smooth muscles in blood vessels, which helps the vessels widen to increase blood flow and lower blood pressure.
  • Regulates blood pressure: Because nitric oxide promotes vasodilation, it regulates blood pressure and maintains healthy circulation.
  • Boosts immunity response: NO has antimicrobial and antiviral properties that fight off pathogens and keep us from getting sick.
  • Neurotransmission: Nitric oxide helps our brain cells better communicate with one another.
  • Cell Growth and Differentiation: Cells require NO for growth, differentiation, and cell death (apoptosis).

Causes of Nitric Oxide Deficiency

Doctors can't always pinpoint what causes low nitric oxide in the body.

But, research does show that aging is the most common factor for a decrease in nitric oxide levels.

As we get older, our bodies have a reduced capacity to produce NO via the L-arginine pathway or a deficiency of L-arginine.

When nitric oxide production decreases, it can contribute to cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration disorders.

But a drop in NO may happen regardless of how old you are. Many times, the decrease is attributed to a low-nitrate diet.

A sedentary lifestyle can increase the odds of developing a nitric oxide deficiency. Research shows that introducing exercise can increase the body's nitric oxide production.

In rare cases, a drop in NO can be due to Mitochondrial disease, which are genetic conditions that affect how the body converts food and oxygen into energy.

Some medications can lower nitric oxide levels, including:

Poor health habits, such as smoking cigarettes, can decrease the amount of NO our bodies create.

Many aren't aware that changes to the oral microbiome can also impact nitric oxide levels.

Additionally, using bacteria-killing mouthwash and over brushing your tongue can destroy beneficial bacteria needed for the NO synthesis process.

Low Nitric Oxide Symptoms

  • Erectile dysfunction (ED): Nitric oxide is essential to getting and maintaining an erection. It relaxes the smooth muscle in the penis to allow it to fill with blood so you can get and maintain an erection.
  • Depression and chronic stress: Nitric oxide plays a major role in modulating the body's neurotransmitter systems, and when there's a deficiency, it can affect mood and lead to depression and other psychological disorders.
  • Fatigue: Low levels of NO can lead to reduced blood flow and oxygen flow. It may also decrease stamina and affect athletic ability.
  • Memory loss: Low nitric oxide levels can cause decreased brain function, leading to poor memory, concentration, and cognitive decline.
  • High blood pressure: Studies show a correlation between high blood pressure and nitric oxide deficiency. As a vasodilator, you can lower blood pressure and increase blood flow by supplementing nitric oxide levels.
  • Poor vision: Low NO levels can contribute to eye-related illnesses, including uveitis, retinitis, or degenerative diseases.
  • Weakened immune system: Nitric oxide is required for a properly working immune system. Low levels make you more susceptible to disease.
  • Atherosclerosis: Plaque can develop on the interior walls of blood vessels, which decreases blood flow. Our bodies require nitric oxide to prevent vascular calcification.
  • Slower wound healing: NO promotes blood flow and immune response. Low nitric oxide can increase the odds of more frequent illnesses and a longer recovery time.

If you notice signs of low nitric oxide, contact a medical professional to discuss possible treatment and supplementation.

Health problems caused by Nitric Oxide Deficiency

  • Heart disease: When the body can't produce enough nitric oxide, it can cause blood vessel constriction, plaque build-up, and chronic inflation.
  • Diabetes: Someone with a NO deficiency is at risk for type 2 diabetes because it can impair insulin sensitivity. Low nitric oxide can also worsen complications due to diabetes.
  • Neurological disorders: Supplementing NO may help slow the progression of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
  • Osteoporosis: Nitric oxide efficiency can increase the chances of fractures and osteoporosis.

If you suspect you’re struggling with nitric oxide deficiency, contact a medical professional as soon as you can. The sooner you catch it, the better you can address low NO levels.

Long-term nitric oxide deficiency

  • Kidney disease: Research shows that pretreating low nitric oxide levels can prevent renal failure.
  • Stroke: Studies indicate that there is a correlation between levels of nitric oxide and strokes.
  • Nerve pain: Neuropathy is connected to low levels of NO and plays a major role in nerve function and disease.

How to Treat Nitric Oxide Deficiency

While we can’t do much about aging, we can take steps toward preventing nitric oxide deficiency.

  • Nitrate-rich diet: Spinach, citrus fruit, and garlic are three good options to start off a nitrate-rich diet and increase NO levels.
  • Regular exercise: Jogging, swimming, and cycling can help stimulate nitric oxide production and support overall wellness.
  • Manage stress: Meditation, yoga, and therapy may help improve your nitric oxide levels.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: With a balanced diet and regular exercise, you can achieve a healthy weight, which helps regulate NO production.
  • Supplements: Supplements that contain L-arginine or L-citrulline, such as Vitaflux, can assist in increasing the production of nitric oxide. It may be helpful for people who struggle with NO deficiency or can't eat enough nitrate-rich food.
  • Stop smoking cigarettes: Smoking has the potential to cause blood vessel damage and impair the production of NO.

Health benefits of nitric oxide

  • Lowers blood pressure: Improving nitric oxide production can improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure.
  • Improved sexual health: Upping NO levels increases blood flow, desire, and arousal in men and women. Supplementing nitric oxide can address erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation and increase lubrication in women.
  • Cardiovascular health: Research shows that better NO levels improve blood flow and widen blood vessels.
  • Improved exercise capacity: Some athletes supplement NO due to its physical performance benefits, including stamina and endurance.
  • Wound healing qualities: Studies show that nitric oxide helps the body with inflammatory response, cell proliferation, and collagen formation and is an antimicrobial.
  • Boosts reproduction: For females, nitric oxide levels play a role in ovulation, fertilization, and implementation. Some women supplement NO during pregnancy and to regulate delivery. Nitric oxide improves sperm maturation in men.

Other benefits of improving nitric oxide levels include:

  • Increased energy
  • Less muscle soreness
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Healthier pregnancy
  • Improved respiratory response


As we age, our NO levels begin to decrease. A poor diet, lack of exercise, some genetic disorders, medication, and cigarette smoking can also cause NO deficiency.

Low levels of NO come with warning signs that include sexual dysfunction, depression, stress, tiredness, memory loss, and poor vision.

Nitric oxide deficiency can lead to serious health issues such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, neurological problems, and osteoporosis. Chat with your physician if you notice any symptoms of low NO.

You can increase nitric oxide with lifestyle changes such as eating nitrate-rich food, introducing exercise to your daily routine, managing stress levels, and stopping smoking.

Over-the-counter supplements, like VitaFLUX Nitric Oxide Booster, are available that contain L-arginine or L-citrulline, which can address nitric oxide deficiency.

Supplementing NO has all kinds of benefits, like lower blood pressure, better sexual health and stamina, and more.

Talk to your doctor about low nitric oxide treatment if you notice symptoms of low nitric oxide.

The Promescent Team

The Promescent Team

Our team has over a decade of experience in the sexual wellness field and are experts in sexual dysfunctions, like premature ejaculation. We help couples and individuals better understand treatment options available for different types of sexual needs and educate the public on all things related to intimacy. All of our authored content is medically reviewed for accuracy and reliability.


Absorption Pharmaceuticals LLC (Promescent) has strict informational citing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic or research institutions, medical associations, and medical experts. We attempt to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references and only citing trustworthy sources. Each article is reviewed, written, and updated by Medical Professionals or authoritative Experts in a specific, related field of practice. You can find out more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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