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Logo of brjsmedBritish Journal of Sports MedicineVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Br J Sports Med. 2007 October; 41(10): 673.
PMCID: PMC2465150


It is a well‐established fact that NO derived from endothelial cells and, potentially, red blood cells contributes to the regulation of blood flow at baseline. These authors now show that, during exercise, increases in blood flow also correlate with changes in NOS‐derived NO concentrations, as estimated from plasma nitrite concentrations. As NOS activity decreases physiologically with age, but pathophysiologically also early on during atherosclerosis and in heart failure, the findings of the present study may help to explain the loss of exercise capacity in patients under those circumstances. Restoration of NO concentrations, such as in heart failure after administration of nitrates, may help to explain the beneficial drug effects, which for a long time have been doubted to depend solely on preload reduction.

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