Blood pressure is a tricky thing. Not everyone understands what it does or how to keep it at healthy levels. One of the best ways we know of to control blood pressure is by taking Citrulline, an amino acid found in watermelons that lower blood pressure naturally and safely.
What is citrulline?
Citrulline is a nonessential amino acid that occurs naturally in the body as a result of protein metabolism. Dietary sources can also provide citrulline, though it is not known how much is absorbed by the intestine and taken up into blood circulation.
Citrulline is an amino acid that helps to increase nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide increases blood flow, relaxes the muscles in the walls of your artery, and lowers blood pressure.
Citrulline can be found in vegetables like arugula, spinach, celery, cabbage sprouts, and watermelon. It can also be found in fruits such as apples and oranges. In addition to these food sources for citrulline, you may want to consider taking supplements containing L-citrulline.
What is a nonessential amino acid?
The word “nonessential” is a bit of a misnomer because all amino acids are essential for life. Nonessential just means that they can be synthesized by the body and need not be obtained through diet. The human body needs proteins in order to function properly- these are made up of chains of amino acids linked together like beads on an infinitely long string.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They can be divided into two categories: essential and nonessential. Essential amino acids cannot be produced by your body and must come from the diet; these include isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan as well as valine. Nonessential amino acids can be synthesized in the body or obtained through a healthy diet; examples include arginine, citrulline, and histidine.
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the measure of the force exerted on blood vessels by a person’s heart, and it can be measured in two ways. There are two main numbers when discussing blood pressure: systolic and diastolic. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart beats and diastolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart relaxes. This measurement usually happens with an arm cuff connected to a digital monitor or through a finger prick with a manual device called an oscillometer.
It is a measure of how hard your blood pushes against the walls of your arteries as it flows through them. Blood pressure is an important indicator for many conditions. For example, if you have high blood pressure it may be a sign that you are at risk for heart disease or stroke.
Health Benefits of Citrulline:
The citrulline in food is converted to the same form of citrulline in the body when it enters your bloodstream.
Citrulline has many benefits for your health, including:
- Increasing nitric oxide production (NO) which improves arterial elasticity
- Reducing blood pressure
- Improving muscle recovery time after exercise
Nitric oxide is a molecule that can be found in the human body. It’s formed by free radicals and it plays an important role in our biology. Nitrogen dioxide, nitrous oxide, and nitrogen trioxide are all related to this compound as well because they’re oxidized forms of nitrogen with two oxygen molecules attached which would make them more reactive than regular old dinitrogen monoxide (N0).
The first major function of NO is its ability to regulate blood vessel diameter. When we have too little nitric acid then our vessels get smaller or constricted meaning circulation isn’t as good so people with atherosclerosis often have problems here for example when their vessels constrict even more during stress-induced responses like anxiety attacks.
Citrulline lowers blood pressure:
Regular intake of foods rich in citrulline helps lower blood pressure.
Juan Jose Orozco-Gutierrez and colleagues, 2010, evaluated the effect of L-arginine and L-citrulline on blood pressure. They found out that L-arginine and L-citrulline reduced blood pressure in heart failure patients.
Alexei Wong and colleagues, 2015, examined the effect of whole-body vibration and intake of citrulline supplements on aortic hemodynamics and blood nitric oxide metabolites in postmenopausal women. They concluded that L-citrulline supplementation improves blood pressure.
Paige Alsop and colleagues, 2016, examined the effect of nitrate and citrulline on cardiac electrical activity and blood pressure. They found out that both nitrate and citrulline helped reduce blood pressure.
Recent studies have shown that L-citrulline supplementation widens the arteries in heart disease patients and in people at risk of heart disease, thereby lowering blood pressure.
Side effects of citrulline:
Side effects of consuming too much citrulline include:
- Headaches and migraines. This is very common with citrulline supplements since they often cause dehydration.
- Citrulline also reduces the amount of water in your cells, leading to a dry mouth or even constipation. These side effects are less likely if you take citrulline before workouts rather than after because it doesn’t need as much fluid to work properly then.
- Nausea and vomiting can happen from taking too many doses at once, for example, 1000mg every three hours over 12 hours straight instead of spreading throughout the day like 500mg twice per day (every eight hours). You may want to stay hydrated when you use citrulline so that this does not happen!
Besides reducing blood pressure, regular consumption of food rich in citrulline has so many other health benefits that are not mentioned here. However, if you are pregnant or are on blood-thinning medication, please consult your doctor first before you take any foods with high citrulline content or any citrulline supplements.
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