Also known as L-citrulline, citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that is gaining popularity for all the health benefits that it can provide for you. The amino acid is produced in the liver and intestines, and it is one of the three amino acids produced by our body's urea cycle.
The urea cycle transforms a toxic compound called ammonia into urea that our body excretes through urine. Our bodies naturally produce citrulline. However, you can take foods that contain citrulline to increase your citrulline levels, so you do not have to rely on your body's production alone.
We will discuss the benefits of citrulline for your health to help you better understand the reasons for its popularity.
Benefits of Citrulline
1. It can improve blood flow
Citrulline has been attributed to improving blood flow and relieving high blood pressure by dilating your blood vessels. Several studies conducted to observe the effects of citrulline supplements in adults found that it can reduce blood pressure. A study of 12 participants observed a notable reduction in blood pressure after citrulline administration for a week.
2. It can increase your ability to exercise longer
Some studies suggest that citrulline can increase your endurance when exercising, allowing you to perform physically strenuous activities for far longer. Citrulline plays a role in dilating blood vessels that increase blood flow throughout the body and improve your exercise endurance.
3. It can be beneficial for cardiac function
Citrulline also has been associated with an improvement in cardiac function in adults. A study observed that the administration of citrulline supplements in adults resulted in a significant reduction in pulmonary artery pressure. The study also found an improvement in the function of the right ventricular function (improved blood flow), and it relieved the pressure in arteries to make the heart function healthier.
4. It can counteract erectile dysfunction
Researchers have found that another major benefit of citrulline for your health is its ability to counteract erectile dysfunction. A study published in 2018 revealed that orally administering L-citrulline supplements can significantly improve erectile function. This was one of the first studies conducted to test the link between citrulline and improved erectile function. While further research needs to be done to establish a concrete link, the study certainly confirms that there is a link of citrulline reducing erectile dysfunction.
Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid, and it can have several health benefits for you. While your body can produce the amino acid, you can also boost your citrulline levels by consuming foods like watermelon, pumpkins, bitter melon, and gourds. Additionally, you can take supplements that contain citrulline in them for this purpose.
Researchers have not yet observed any adverse effects of administering citrulline in the form of supplements. However, taking too high a dose could be ineffective. Studies have observed that consuming more citrulline does not affect your body after a particular point.
If you plan to take foods rich in citrulline or consider taking supplements containing the non-essential amino acid, we would recommend discussing it with a qualified physician who can provide you better advice on effective doses.