What are the best nitric oxide boosters? The quest for optimal health often leads us to natural solutions like Arginine and beets, both known for their ability to boost nitric oxide levels. In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the science behind these two powerhouses, evaluating their effectiveness and understanding the role of nitric oxide in the human body and to understand what are the best nitric oxide boosters.

The Nitric Oxide Story

Nitric oxide, a simple molecule with immense biological importance, plays a critical role in various bodily functions. It’s primarily produced in the cardiovascular and nervous systems and acts as a neurotransmitter. The molecule gained significant attention after being named the “Molecule of the Year” in 1992 and has been the subject of over 140,000 studies, leading to numerous pharmaceutical developments like Viagra.

the Best Nitric Oxide Boosters

Arginine: The Traditional Nitric Oxide Booster

Arginine, a semi-essential amino acid, has long been the focal point in nitric oxide research. The body naturally produces Arginine, which is also found in various foods. It transforms into nitric oxide through an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase, present in the endothelium of arteries. However, the effectiveness of Arginine supplementation has been debated, especially concerning its conversion rate into nitric oxide in older individuals. Despite these discussions, Arginine’s role in boosting nitric oxide remains substantiated by extensive research and clinical practice.

Beets: The Emerging Nitric Oxide Source

Beets, and other nitrate-rich foods like arugula and spinach, represent an alternative pathway for nitric oxide production. Some people who have products to sell are saying that only beets rank among the best nitric oxide boosters.

The nitrates in these foods convert into nitric oxide through a process involving oral microbiome and stomach acid, independent of the nitric oxide synthase pathway. This feature makes them particularly beneficial for individuals with endothelial dysfunction. However, sourcing quality nitrate-rich supplements can be challenging, and factors like oral microbiome health and stomach acid levels significantly influence their effectiveness.

Comparing Arginine and Beets

When comparing arginine and beets, each has its advantages and drawbacks. Arginine’s benefits are well-researched, and it’s naturally produced by the body and it is well known as one of the best nitric oxide boosters around. However, it may not be as effective in older individuals due to decreased nitric oxide synthase activity. On the other hand, beets offer a nitric oxide synthase-independent pathway but rely heavily on the individual’s oral and gut health for conversion.

Practical Applications and Products

In clinical practice, understanding each patient’s unique health profile is crucial when choosing between Arginine and beets. For those with compromised nitric oxide synthase activity or seeking a natural alternative, beets and other nitrate-rich foods can be an excellent choice. Conversely, Arginine supplements, often combined with other co-factors and antioxidants, can offer a more controlled and research-backed approach.

Several products on the market cater to these needs, ranging from Arginine-based supplements to beetroot extracts and greens powders high in nitrates. Additionally, testing methods like saliva nitrate strips and digital pulse wave analyzers can help track nitric oxide levels and arterial health, guiding supplementation choices.

Poorly Designed Studies

The Vascular Interaction With Age in Myocardial Infarction (VINTAGE MI) clinical trial, a notable study on the use of L-arginine in acute myocardial infarction patients, has sparked considerable debate in the medical community. This study, published in the January 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), sought to determine if adding L-arginine to standard post-heart attack therapy could reduce vascular stiffness and improve heart function over a six-month period.

Study Design and Findings

  • Context & Objective: Recognizing L-arginine as a substrate for nitric oxide synthase and its potential to reduce vascular stiffness, the study aimed to assess its efficacy in improving cardiac function post-heart attack.
  • Methodology: It was a single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, enrolling 153 patients who had experienced a first ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. The participants were randomized to receive either L-arginine (goal dose of 3 g three times a day) or a placebo for six months​​.
  • Results: The study found no significant improvement in vascular stiffness or left ventricular ejection fraction in the L-arginine group compared to the placebo group. Notably, six participants (8.6%) in the L-arginine group died during the study, while no deaths were reported in the placebo group. This led to safety concerns and the early closure of the trial by the data and safety monitoring committee​​.

Criticisms and Controversies

The VINTAGE MI trial has been criticized for several reasons:

  1. Dosage and Administration: Some experts argue that the dosage of L-arginine used was inadequate for therapeutic effects. Furthermore, questions have been raised about the absorption and metabolism of L-arginine in the patients enrolled in the study.
  2. Patient Selection: Concerns have been raised regarding the specific cohort of patients chosen for the study, particularly their health status and how representative they were of the general population experiencing heart attacks.
  3. Study Design: Critics have pointed out potential flaws in the study’s design, including the single-center nature of the trial and the methods used to measure outcomes such as vascular stiffness and heart function.

Implications for Clinical Practice

While the VINTAGE MI trial suggests potential risks associated with L-arginine supplementation post-heart attack, it is important to consider these results within the broader context of L-arginine research and cardiovascular health. The role of L-arginine in cardiovascular therapy, particularly in non-post-infarction contexts, continues to be supported by a body of research indicating its benefits in vascular health and nitric oxide production.

The VINTAGE MI trial represents a critical piece of research in the ongoing evaluation of L-arginine’s role in heart health. However, its findings should be interpreted with caution and in conjunction with other studies. As with any supplement or medication, the suitability of L-arginine for individual patients should be assessed based on a comprehensive understanding of their overall health, the specific health condition being treated, and the broader scientific evidence available.


In the debate between Arginine and beets for nitric oxide boosting, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Each has its unique benefits and limitations. The choice largely depends on individual health factors, goals, and preferences. Doing a good heavy metal detox is going to be very helpful in any case, no matter what you take.


By understanding the nuances of these nitric oxide boosters, one can make informed decisions to optimize health and wellness.


If you would like in depth information watch my video presentation from ANMA below.