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Increased nitric oxide in exhaled air after intake of a nitrate-rich meal.

Journal article
Authors AC Olin
A Aldenbratt
Anna Ekman
Göran Ljungkvist
L Jungersten
K Alving
Kjell Torén
Published in Respiratory medicine
Volume 95
Issue 2
Pages 153-8
ISSN 0954-6111
Publication year 2001
Published at Institute of Internal Medicine
Pages 153-8
Language en
Keywords Adult, Arginine, blood, Biological Markers, analysis, Breath Tests, Female, Humans, Male, Nitrates, administration & dosage, blood, Nitric Oxide, analysis, Postprandial Period, Sensitivity and Specificity
Subject categories Internal medicine, Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


Exhaled and nasal NO (ENO, NNO) have been suggested as markers for inflammation in lower and upper respiratory tract respectively. It is still unknown how a number of factors, apart from airway inflammation, can influence NO levels. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of a nitrate-rich meal on ENO and NNO. Sixteen healthy subjects were observed during 1 week on normal diet before a nitrate-restricted diet was introduced in the next. On day 3 of the second week they were made to ingest a nitrate rich meal. ENO, NNO, plasma nitrate and plasma L-arginine were followed before the meal and afterwards for 3 h. ENO and NNO as well as plasma nitrate and plasma L-arginine were significantly elevated after the nitrate-rich meal. The median maximal increase of ENO and NNO was 47% and 13% respectively. We found a moderate but significant correlation between the rise in plasma nitrate and ENO (r(s)=0.57, P=0.027) but none between plasma nitrate and NNO (r(s)=-0.02, P=0.95). As nitrate in the diet seems to substantially influence the levels of ENO it is important either to restrict or register the intake of nitrate-rich food prior to measuring ENO.

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