The organic compound citrulline is an amino acid, and is an important constituent of the liver. Citrulline is used by the body for removing toxic compounds, such as ammonia, from the liver. Without citrulline it is not possible to detoxify liver cells from ammonia, which is a waste product of oxidation process. Citrulline helps the immune system in fighting infections and increases energy. It occurs in specialized proteins in the skin, hair and neural cells. This organic compound is necessary for metabolic processes and maintains nitrogen balance in the body. This amino acid prevents muscle fatigue, as it helps in production of energy. Citrulline, through its conversion into another amino acid (arginine) in our body optimizes blood flow. Arginine allows for increased production of nitric acid in the endothelium, to support circulatory function.
Benefits of Citrulline
Watermelon, especially the melon rind is an excellent source of citrulline. Vegetables like pumpkins, cucumbers, gourds and squashes are also good sources of citrulline. Besides vegetables, fruits such as cantaloupes, honeydews, bittermelons and muskmelons also contain citrulline in substantial amounts. Walnut seedlings are considered to be the richest source of citrulline.
Citrulline is also abundantly found in fish, meat, eggs, milk, and legumes. Foods rich in protein, also contain high amount of citrulline. Citrulline as a supplement, brings plenty of benefits. It helps the body to overcome fatigue and stress. The right amount of citrulline levels in the body promote increased energy and ensures the normal functioning of the immune system. Citrulline supplements provide an easy way to boost your body's defense system. With deficiency in citrulline, fatigue becomes a common problem, thus preventing you to achieve optimal efficiency when performing day-to-day routine.
Citrulline is often recommended for patients suffering from urine problem. Frequent urination, can be treated using this compound. It is capable of minimizing almost every problem related to excessive urination. Citrulline is easy to use and can be prescribed for every age group. Scientific studies have shown, that citrulline can reverse the gradual advancement of atherosclerosis (congestion of arteries). This could mean that citrulline is beneficial to people suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Citrulline is regarded as a nonessential amino acid, meaning its production takes place in the body. However, the synthesis of citrulline may take a backseat in people suffering from short bowel syndrome. In this condition, the body loses its ability to absorb nutrients sufficiently. This happens because a significant part of the small intestine is damaged due to injury or any other medical problem. Hence, that length of the small intestine is surgically removed in the best interest of the patient. But, since production of citrulline happens in the small intestine, deficiency of this amino acid is bound to occur. In such circumstances, one has to specifically include citrulline and arginine rich foods or supplements in the diet.
Few studies suggest that citrulline extracts from watermelon grind might help to treat high blood pressure. In one study, participants in the age group of 50-60 and suffering from pre high blood pressure symptoms were put on citrulline that was extracted from watermelon for approximately 42 days. The results showed that there was a noticeable improvement in arterial blood flow, which helped to reduce aortic blood pressure. Aorta is the largest artery that runs from the heart to all the way down to the abdomen. Most of the major arteries in the body are considered to be an offshoot of aorta. As citrulline extracts are found to be helpful in lowering blood pressure of a major artery, it warrants for further studies to evaluate the usefulness of citrulline extracts in controlling high blood pressure.
Arginine aids in the production of nitric oxide in our body. Nitric oxide promotes healthy flow of blood, thus contributing to overall health. The heart finds it difficult to pump blood, if adequate amounts of nitric acid is not produced. Intake of arginine supplements keep nitric oxide at optimum level. Citrulline supplements help to facilitate production of arginine, as citrulline is converted into arginine in our body. Including citrulline in the diet can increase stamina, and boost physical activity. There are some citrulline supplements that are known as sexual enhancers. Doctors advice to use them for sexual improvement. So, if you want to spice up your life taking citrulline capsules, as prescribed by your healthcare professional, would definitely be a good option.
Side Effects of Citrulline
So far citrulline side effects have not been reported in clinical results or medical literature. People who are having citrulline, have not experienced any adverse reactions. This is a good news for those who want to reap benefits of citrulline.
Studies have confirmed, that citrulline can significantly enhance aerobic performance and prolong the onset of muscular fatigue. Citrulline malate, a combination of malic acid and citrulline is being strongly promoted as a citrulline. It helps to improve aerobic energy production, thereby contributing to increase athletic performance. No wonder, athletes often use this supplement to raise their performance bar and reduce muscle fatigue after a strenuous workout. However, make sure you consult a doctor before using these supplements.