Citrulline is an amino acid which is derived from food sources such as watermelon which is how it got its name. Other sources include garlic and onions as well as some meats and dairy products. It is formed from ornithine and has a role in the synthesis of urea. Arginine is an essential amino acid that is synthesized from citrulline. This substance is found in high concentrations in the liver. Citrulline has a very important role in detoxifying and removing ammonia and lactic acid from the muscle and liver cells.

Citrulline has also been shown to play key roles in helping to regulate the nitrogen balance in the bloodstream and in metabolism. It also works in vasodilation or relaxation of the blood vessels. This helps the circulatory system to bring more blood and oxygen to the body. This substance has been found to be present in certain hair fibers, skin cells and nerve cells as well.

Citrulline malate is sold as a nutritional supplement to improve muscle fatigue. It has been shown in clinical research that this product does dilate the blood vessels and help to regulate the nitrogen levels in the blood stream. Due to these two factors, it stands to reason that citrulline could be beneficial to those who do body building or want to improve their muscle mass could use this supplement to help them improve their circulation and muscle tone.

Another clinical study showed that people who have rheumatoid arthritis have antibodies against citrulline. This fact has helped researchers and physicians to be able to determine a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis in a more timely manner.

Since citrulline has been shown to be a vasodilator, it has also been marketed as a natural supplement to help men with erectile dysfunction as well as a supplement for body building. In addition there is some research that it may be able to reduce the chances of heart disease. This same research showed that this substance can reduce cholesterol by 10 to 20%, reduce the chance of arterial plaque by as much as 50%, control platelet function and production, and expand the blood vessels.

So how exactly does this amino acid work to do these things? Its main function is by regulating the nitric oxide production in the blood stream. This is a molecule that is responsible for regulating the amount of oxygen and glucose that is sent to the muscle tissue. It is also responsible for the amount of muscle tissue growth and strength. Citrulline is also responsible for reducing the amount of lactic acid and ammonia in the muscle tissues. These are toxic substances that are in our cellular make up. These substances can be dangerous if allowed to build up in our system. Lactic acid build up can make our muscles burn, feel fatigued and painful. Ammonia can even be fatal if it is allowed to build up in the blood stream to toxic levels. Exercise produces a lot of lactic acid and ammonia. The body then has to work hard to get rid of these harmful substances.

Citrulline has been shown to have a protective effect against rising ammonia and lactic acid levels. This is beneficial for people who want to exercise or body build on a regular basis. They can continue to do so without having to worry about having the burn or muscle fatigue that is associated with the build up of these substances. A nutritional supplement of citrulline malate would be beneficial for these reasons as it has been shown to be extremely hard to get therapeutic amounts of citrulline from diet alone.

Citrulline has also been shown to increase muscle energy. Research has shown that citrulline helps to increase the muscle ATP which helps the amount of energy that is available to an individual muscle tissue. This allows longer periods of exercise. The vasodilation potential of citrulline allows further increased amounts of oxygen and other nutrients to the muscle tissue as well during workouts.

Last updated on Oct 6th, 2009 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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