L-citrulline is one of the many amino acids that the human body needs to survive. This amino acid helps to optimize the blood flow through the body by being converted to L-arginine and, later, nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is particularly important since it helps fight against physical and mental fatigue as well as sexual dysfunction. L-citrulline can also help detoxify the liver of ammonia and other compounds, and it may help relax blood vessels as well. L-citrulline is naturally produced in the body via the urea cycle when carbamoyl phosphate is changed over to citrulline during the ornithine carbamoyltransferase reaction.
You can find l-citrulline in a number of foods, but it was first found in watermelon (specifically in the rind) in 1930. It is technically a nonessential amino acid, which means it is not found in protein. However, it is still important to the human body. Without l-citrulline, people experience more mental and physical fatigue and may find themselves feeling very low on energy on a regular basis. This is why some people take an oral supplement. Some studies also show that l-citrulline can help the body defend itself against illness and can help with urea cycle functions. When it comes to taking l-citrulline supplements, most doctors recommend taking one and one-fourth teaspoons (three grams) twice a day.
Many men take l-citrulline supplements to help them deal with sexual dysfunction. The supplement does actually help with this rather embarrassing problem, and unlike products like Viagra, it is an all-natural supplement that has very few side effects. Like many supplements, though l-citrulline affects different people in different ways. Some have experienced little help with their sexual dysfunction, while others find that l-citrulline is all they need to overcome the disorder.
Using l-citrulline as a way of detoxifying the body, especially the liver, is another use of the supplement. l-citrulline removes ammonia from the body, which is essential since ammonia builds up as a result of oxidation. This is a necessity since large amounts of ammonia in the body can be very dangerous. Athletes, bodybuilders, and those who exercise very regularly may have a good amount of ammonia buildup since oxidation occurs rapidly during exercise. By freeing up the liver of this excess ammonia, the body recovers more quickly after working out. This also helps to free up ATP energy, which can increase respiration and help with signal transduction.
Bodybuilders and athletes may also be interested in l-citrulline supplements because of the fact that l-citrulline converts to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide in turn helps to increase blood flow and plays a part in vascular function. This helps promote a healthy cardiovascular system. Because l-citrulline is all natural, many athletes prefer to take it over other, artificial supplements that may have a number of extra side effects or other issues that l-citrulline does not have. Some have even noticed a major boost of energy when they take l-citrulline before working out or have found that they recover more quickly by taking l-citrulline after a major workout.
There are only a few side effects connected with l-citrulline supplements. If you have any kidney problems or are hypersensitive to l-citrulline, consult your physician before taking any supplements. Also, l-citrulline supplements should not be taken by children under 12. Of course, if you want to gain more l-citrulline naturally, you can eat more watermelon, garlic, and onions.
Overall, l-citrulline is a great supplement to take if you work out a lot or if you find yourself in need of a solution to sexual dysfunction. The supplement has no major side effects, and it provides several necessary functions.
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