As far as I understand, it is established that NO has the effect of dilating the blood vessels.

Many also claim that it can prevent or even reverse cardio-vascular disease. I have however not been able to find an explanation as to how that is supposed to happen.

Is this true? If so, what studies support the claim and what are the mechanisms?

  • 1
    We require questions here to demonstrate some level of prior research. You could begin by showing us where you've seen this claim made.
    – Carey Gregory
    Oct 28, 2019 at 14:15
  • Ok. I will update the question as I find more.
    – fuumind
    Oct 30, 2019 at 9:45

1 Answer 1


From what I know from as a general practitioner, NO and drugs that release NO do not prevent nor reverse coronary disease. Nitrates, so drugs that release NO, are commonly prescribed to treat coronary disease symptoms though. NO mainly dialates venes, not arteries, so the effect is due to less blood for the heart to pump, rather than more blood flowing through the coronary arteries.

I do not have any studies to cite here, but it is a well-established fact in the medical community, that nitrates only alleviate the symptoms of coronary disease, but do not decrease morbidity or overal survival.

I do not know about other cardiovascular diseases though. Coronary is what you deal with on a daily basis.

  • 1
    We appreciate your answer, but we also expect answers to provide some basic supporting references since we have no way of verifying your credentials. Could you please add some supporting links to your main assertions of fact?
    – Carey Gregory
    Oct 31, 2019 at 1:29
  • Wikipedia might not be the most trustworthy source, but it does explain the phenomenon quite well (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitroglycerin#Medical_use). As medicine is taught mainly with paper-print books and not websites and research articles, it is quite difficult for me to directly cite. Also, what good is citing my medical books, when they are mostly in polish? :) I do see the credibility dilema with medstack in general. Maybe some way of validating medical licences would applicable? Oct 31, 2019 at 15:58

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