Regulation of nitric oxide synthesis by dietary factors. Academic Article uri icon


  • Nitric oxide (NO) is synthesized from L-arginine by NO synthase (NOS). As an endothelium-derived relaxing factor, a mediator of immune responses, a neurotransmitter, a cytotoxic free radical, and a signaling molecule, NO plays crucial roles in virtually every cellular and organ function in the body. The discovery of NO synthesis has unified traditionally diverse research areas in nutrition, physiology, immunology, pathology, and neuroscience. Increasing evidence over the past decade shows that many dietary factors, including protein, amino acids, glucose, fructose, cholesterol, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, phytoestrogens, ethanol, and polyphenols, are either beneficial to health or contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic diseases partially through modulation of NO production by inducible NOS or constitutive NOS. Although most published studies have focused on only a single nutrient and have generated new and exciting knowledge, future studies are necessary to investigate the interactions of dietary factors on NO synthesis and to define the underlying molecular mechanisms.

published proceedings

  • Annu Rev Nutr

author list (cited authors)

  • Wu, G., & Meininger, C. J.

citation count

  • 223

complete list of authors

  • Wu, Guoyao||Meininger, Cynthia J

publication date

  • July 2002