Updated: 2018, Sep 27

Citrulline: Know Everything About This Ingredient!

Citrulline

What is Citrulline?

The organic compound L – Citrulline is a naturally occurring amino acid. Its name is derived from Citrullus which is Latin word for watermelon. It is known for decades and now it has appeared as a promising agent for enhancing aerobic and anaerobic capacity. L – Citrulline is used to cure many diseases such as diabetes, dementia, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, fatigue, sickle cell disease, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and muscle weakness.

What are The Common Sources of Citrulline?

Scientists found that watermelon contains high amounts of several immune boosting antioxidants which include amino acid Citrulline and lycopene. Citrulline is naturally present in a variety of protein food sources such as meats, milk, fish and legumes. It is also derived from specific vegetable sources such as onions and garlic. Walnut seedlings are also considered to be the richest source of Citrulline.

How Does it Work?

L-Citrulline is naturally made in the body. Our body change L-Citrulline into another amino acid known as L-arginine and also to nitric oxide. It helps to increase the store ingredients the body requires to make some proteins. By opening up arteries and veins it also improves blood flow.

What are The Health Benefits?

L – Citrulline is used for body building, improving energy and for enhancing athletic performance. It may help to keep the arteries healthy. It might also help to reduce the high blood pressure in children after the heat surgery. It is given before and after the surgery. The supplementation of L – Citrulline can improve erectile dysfunction in men. It is also known to improve some symptoms in individuals with sickle cell disease.

Benefits of Citrulline on Intestine

Citrulline is observed as a nonessential amino acid which means that its production takes place in the body. However, in individuals having short bowel syndrome the fusion of Citrulline may take a backseat. The body loses its ability to absorb sufficient nutrients. It happens when a significant part of small intestine get damaged because of injury or some other medical problem. The length of the small intestine is removed by a surgery because of this; deficiency of this amino acid is bound to occur as production of Citrulline take place in the small intestine. In such cases, a person has to take Citrulline rich foods or supplements to keep the levels in balance.

Does Citrulline Detoxify Ammonia in The Body?

Citrulline amino acid is also used for the detoxification of ammonia. It is not a component of any major enzymes or proteins. It is found in high concentrations in the liver from where it is involved in the urea cycle to excrete and detoxify ammonia. This unusual amino acid is formed in the urea cycle by the addition of ammonia and carbon dioxide to ornithine. The main function of Citrulline is to convert toxic ammonia into a less toxic form which is known as urea.

Citrulline and Arginine

Like arginine, Citrulline is also important in the widening of blood vessels, especially in the veins, large arteries as well as smaller arterioles. To signal the surrounding smooth muscle to relax, the endothelium of blood vessels uses nitric oxide. Citrulline is converted to the amino acid arginine in the body which further goes on to make nitric oxide. When Citrulline enters the vascular endothelium, kidney or other tissues it is converted to arginine which helps in raising tissue and plasma levels of arginine as well as enhancing nitric oxide.

Recommended Doses and Timing for Citrulline

The suitable dose of Citrulline depends on various factors such as the health and age of the user. There is no scientific information about the proper doses. Make sure to follow relevant instructions printed on the product labels and before using consult your physician.

Conclusion

Eating vegetables that contain Citrulline allows the body to regulate the balance of nitrogen in the bloodstream to help the circulatory system bring more oxygen and blood to the body. Talk to your doctor to know more about Citrulline and its best food sources.

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