Nitrates and Potassium Nitrate 101: About These Nitric Oxide Boosters

It’s no surprise Nitric Oxide (NO) supplements, some with potassium nitrate as a key ingredient, are becoming popular as more and more people experience their benefits.

Effective NO supplements are proven to boost Nitric Oxide levels to support healthy blood flow throughout the body — which is crucial to maintaining overall wellness and countering potential health issues. 

In fact, many health practitioners recommend NO supplements in patient protocols for conditions like cardiovascular disease, hormone imbalances, cognitive decline, sexual disorders, and more. Indeed, NO is called the miracle molecule for good reason.  

However, as awareness of the benefits of NO supplements continues to grow, so do questions about their ingredients — and rightfully so. People are wise to research and question anything they are considering putting in their bodies. No matter how promising a nutritional supplement’s benefits may sound, the first question should always be: is it safe? 

Much Ado About Nitrates: Are There Risks in Taking Them? 

As far as NO supplements are concerned, there have been questions and confusion around the safety of certain ingredients known as nitrates and potassium nitrate. As we know, the internet is full of both facts and falsehoods, and it can be hard to know what information is true and trustworthy.  

Do a quick search on nitrates and potassium nitrate, and you might see conflicting and erroneous ideas suggesting there may be danger in consuming them — as well as compelling facts and real-life stories about their health benefits. 

For those considering taking NO supplements, we’re here to help set the record straight about nitrates and potassium nitrate — and support patients and health practitioners alike in making best-informed decisions about their use. 

Facts Don’t Lie: The Truth About Nitrates and Potassium Nitrate 

First, let’s talk about nitrates — such as those found in beet root, green leafy vegetables, and cured meats like bacon. In some corners of the internet, nitrates are rumored to cause cancer and health problems.  

According to Chris Kresser, a globally-renowned expert, clinician and educator in the fields of Functional Medicine and ancestral health, there was a study that originally connected nitrates with cancer risk — and it caused a scare. However, that study has since been discredited following peer review.  

Here are the facts about nitrates and human health: 

  • The World Health Organization established an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for nitrates of 3.7mg per kg of body weight. The average American adult weight is between 82 -92 kgs. Clinical studies investigated the effects of as much as 1,316 mg per day of nitrates and showed no adverse health or safety effects.
  • The human body has a natural way to convert dietary nitrates into Nitric Oxide — a process that has survived evolution. That the human body has preserved this process over time indicates nitrates have a positive functional role in the body.

  • Major reviews of scientific literature found no link between nitrates and human cancers, or evidence to suggest nitrates may be carcinogenic. While it’s true that some highly processed foods contain nitrates, these foods carry separate health considerations (including potential cancer risks) that are unrelated to nitrate content. 
  • In fact, recent research suggests nitrates are not only harmless but beneficial — for heart health, gastrointestinal health, immunity, and much more. These findings certainly support those of NO supplement makers, health practitioners, patients, and others who’ve discovered the benefits of Nitric Oxide support.

  • Nitrates are highly recommended by dietary experts. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet — which is known to decrease cardiovascular disease and extend longevity — recommends approximately 1,000 mg of nitrates to be ingested orally daily.  

Now, let’s unpack some key facts about potassium nitrate: 

  • Potassium nitrate is a source of nitrates. Nitrates can be turned into Nitric Oxide via the dietary nitrate pathway — the body’s most dependable means of producing NO. 

  • Potassium nitrate is used as a food additive. Potassium nitrate, also known as KN03, has multiple uses, including long-time use as an additive for food. It’s commonly added to foods like meats and cheeses to help maintain all-around quality and freshness. It’s also used to prevent botulism in canned and stored foods. 
  • Potassium nitrate is an oxidizer that’s safe for consumption. As a strong oxidizer, potassium nitrate can accelerate the burning of combustible materials like fireworks. However, like other oxidizing agents safe for human use — such as hydrogen peroxide and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) — potassium nitrate is NOT combustible itself.

  • Potassium nitrate is not on the list of California Proposition 65’s “chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity” — a list widely regarded for its stringent safety standards. 

How to Best Use Nitrates and Potassium Nitrate for Nitric Oxide Support 

Now that we’ve uncovered the truth about nitrates and potassium nitrate, what’s the best way to benefit from them? For many people, a quality supplement will be the most sensible option. 

Berkeley Life uniquely combines vegetable-sourced nitrates with potassium nitrate to deliver one of the most powerfully formulated and potent Nitric Oxide supplements available. Visit to learn more. 



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