This past weekend, I took my father back to Colorado. Even though I was born and raised in Colorado, I’m now a flat-lander. So when I travel to the high mountains these days, I typically get altitude sickness. My head hurts, I get light headed, and sometimes I get nauseous. This time, none of those things happened. So how did I prevent them? It was really easy.
There’s a relatively new product on the market that helps fight altitude sickness. Here’s how it works. As you may know, altitude sickness occurs when you go from low altitudes to higher altitudes too quickly for your body to adjust. The air is thinner at higher altitudes, especially over 8,000 feet. So your body doesn’t get as much oxygen as it’s used to. This causes the symptoms I mentioned above.
Altitude sickness usually isn’t life threatening, though it can be. And it doesn’t matter how fit you are or how old you are (though being fit can help). Altitude sickness is an equal-opportunity illness. I remember taking some friends skiing in college. One of the girls got so sick she passed out in the lodge and didn’t wake up for 10 or 15 minutes. The ski patrol told us to get her off the mountain fast, as feeling faint is a sign of severe oxygen deprivation. We did and she was fine. But it was scary. Obviously, it’s best to avoid altitude sickness if at all possible. It’s not fun.
Remember, going to higher altitudes reduces the amount of oxygen you receive. I typically notice the lack of oxygen when I run up the stairs or go hiking. While there’s nothing you can do about the reduced oxygen, you can help your body utilize the oxygen you do get.
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And this new product helps you do just that. The name of the product is CircO2. It helps your body produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide improves circulation in the small blood vessels and capillaries. That means it helps your body use the oxygen you breathe in by delivering it more efficiently to your tissues.
The result is that your body doesn’t suffer from the lower oxygen intake. And you don’t suffer from altitude sickness. I took a couple of chewable tablets every day and didn’t suffer from anything other than having to catch my breath every now and then. As an added bonus, I had amazing energy. My brothers even noticed how “awake” I seemed when they were ready for bed. Normally, I’m ready for bed much earlier than they are since I live in the Eastern time zone and they’re two hours earlier. CircO2 really made a huge difference in my ability to enjoy the mountains.
You may know CircO2 as the product that delivers more nitric oxide for memory, heart, and libido problems. But research from 2007 shows that nitric oxide is important for preventing altitude sickness as well.
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic wanted to know how Tibetans, who live at altitudes around 14,000 feet, do so without suffering altitude sickness. They found that Tibetans have 10 times more nitric oxide in their blood. And they have more than double the forearm blood flow of people who live at lower altitudes. The researchers said the higher nitric oxide content allowed the Tibetans to consume oxygen at the same rate as those who live at lower altitudes.
So if you plan to visit the high mountains, make sure you take some CircO2 along with you. It will certainly keep you feeling good — and it could save your life.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
“Higher Blood Flow and Circulating NO Products Offset High-altitude Hypoxia among Tibetans,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), October 2007.