In this health video you will learn how ATP (adenosine triphosphate) gives strength to body builders.
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Raena Morgan: Hi, I'm Raena Morgan with iHealthTube visiting with Dr. Rapaport. Dr. Rapaport, I would like to ask you, what are the benefits of ATP for body builders? Dr. Eli Rapaport: Well, there is a lot of excitement among body builders regarding NO. NO nitric oxide, is produced from arginine in vascular endothelial cells, the cells that line up the blood vessels. NO, once it's produced, it diffuses into the smooth muscle cells which are perivascular, they are behind the vascular endothelial cells, and they are the ones that produce the vasodilation of the blood vessel. And that results in an increase of blood flow, which as in turn, results in the stimulation of the disposal of oxygen, nutrients, mostly glucose into the exercising muscle and removal of waste products such as lactic acid and ammonia. Now, of course, you can take NO products directly such as nitroglycerin. People with unstable angina and other forms of heart disease have been using it for a long time. However, ATP, extracellular ATP in the blood is the major factor that stimulates the synthesis of NO naturally. Raena Morgan: Oh, naturally. Dr. Eli Rapaport: In other words, by interacting with receptors vascular endothelial cells, ATP induces the activity of NO synthase that synthesizes or catalyzes the synthesis of NO form arginine, and this NO is the producing the vasodilation that brings about the advantage to the muscle, to the skeletal muscle. However, there is one difference between taking NO precursors directly or using ATP. ATP is released from red blood cells only when and where it's needed. So it would act only on the muscle that's hypoxic, that lacks oxygen or that is required, that has a metabolic demand for nutrients. While NO that's taken directly would affect any blood vessel, mostly large blood vessels. So we feel that ATP has an advantage over NO or they could be used together either to compliment each other or synergistically. Ironically, NO or arginine the precursor for NO, is taken up into vascular endothelial cells, also by stimulation of amino acid transporters - Raena Morgan: Oh really? Dr. Eli Rapaport: Which is also stimulated by the interaction of insulin and insulin receptor, so this in a way also affected by the adenosine in the blood plasma that improves this interaction significantly. So there is also an indication that the vascular endothelial cells use arginine preferentially from the outside, rather than arginine from the inside for the synthesis of NO. But NO is the big excitement among body builders. We feel that it's not that justified, though definitely there is something to it. As I said before, the skeletal muscle uses the energy from glycogen for fast contraction within milliseconds or one-thousands of a second. This is not related to NO. Now, the glycogen is, of course, built up by the stimulation of sugar uptake, which is done by extracellular ATP. Raena Morgan: So the Peak ATP it's an oral form and this could have a very significant effect on muscle building. Dr. Eli Rapaport: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. Peak ATP is acting both with carbohydrates and with arginine, which is the precursor for NO and both complimenting and acting synergistically in producing better muscle function, this skeletal muscle function. Raena Morgan: Well, this is great news for body builders. Thank you, Dr. Rapaport. We'll meet again.