You've probably heard of Sir Edmund Hillary, credited as the first person to reach to the top of Mount Everest. But have you heard of Tenzing Norgay? Sir Edmund Hillary couldn't have accomplished his amazing feat without Norgay's help. Norgay was Hillary's Sherpa, and they reached the summit together in 1953.
Sherpas are known for being excellent climbers and guides through the often treacherous mountain areas in which they live. It's clear when you hear their stories that they have adapted to the harsh conditions found in such high altitudes. But until recently, scientists weren't sure just what these adaptations were – only that they are extraordinary.
Dr. Andrew Murray, a physiologist at the University of Cambridge, believes that he's unlocked the secret. You probably know that oxygen levels decrease as altitude increases. So it's not surprising that Dr. Murray found that the mitochondria in Sherpas use oxygen more efficiently to produce energy than do the mitochondria of people living in lower areas.
However, researchers have typically expected to find that Sherpas have higher numbers of red blood cells, which transport oxygen, to make up for the low levels. So they were shocked to find that the opposite is true. They actually have a lower number of red blood cells than their “down-to-earth” counterparts.
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So how do they get oxygen to their cells? They utilize higher levels of nitric oxide, which improves the flow of blood throughout the body. This allows the Sherpas to quickly get oxygen where it's needed. Interestingly, the Sherpas seem to be able to do more with more nitric oxide, so these adaptations serve them well for a lifetime in the mountains.
Most of us weren't born with either high levels of nitric oxide or a burning desire to summit Mount Everest. But we all have metaphorical mountains to climb. Everyone can benefit from an extra boost of energy.
The good news is that you can naturally increase your levels of nitric oxide with a supplement called CircO2. Increasing your nitric oxide levels will boost your energy production, just like it does for the Sherpas. CircO2 comes in a convenient lozenge form to increase your nitric oxide production in the most efficient manner. And it's easy to slip into a backpack if you do want to climb a mountain. Or, if you just travel to higher altitudes, CircO2 can help you avoid altitude sickness. It works extremely well for this purpose.
In fact, I have a 72-year-old neighbor who was telling me he and his wife were very excited about their upcoming trip to Macchu Pichu. However, they were very concerned about altitude sickness. A few days before they left for their trip, they began using CircO2 twice a day and continued taking it while traveling. When they returned, my neighbor was thrilled to tell me that everybody had altitude sickness — young and old — except for them.
Your insider for better health,
Dr. Janet Zand