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Watermelon: A Natural Viagra?

Researcher Says Popular Summer Fruit May Have Viagra-Like Effect on Blood Vessels
 
Watermelon may be a natural Viagra, says researcher Bhimu Patil PhD. That's because the popular summer fruit is richer than experts believed in an amino acid called citrulline, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels much like Viagra and other drugs meant to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).
Found in the flesh and rind of watermelons, citrulline reacts with the body's enzymes when consumed in large quantities and is changed into arginine, an amino acid that benefits the heart and the circulatory and immune systems.
Watermelon provides potassium and the phytonutrients lycopene and beta-carotene all beneficial for prostate health, in addition to the citrulline.
Higher amounts of citrulline — about 60 percent — is found in watermelon rind than in the flesh.
So, the burning question: How much watermelon does it take?
"That is a good question," Patil says. Unfortunately, "I don't have an answer for that."
He does know that a typical 4-ounce serving of watermelon (about 10 watermelon balls) has about 150 milligrams of citrulline. But he can't say how much citrulline is needed to have Viagra-like effects.
 
Nutrition, March 2007; vol 23: pp 261-266
Bhimu Patil, PhD, director of Texas A&M University Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center, College Station.
 
 
Dr. Iverson's Comment
Although this article is undoubtedly interesting, it seems more of a fun trivia interest than actual practicality. Citrulline in the body is transformed into arginine, which then becomes nitric oxide. Nitric oxide has a vasodilating effect on blood vessels. Sources of arginine are plentiful and this “Viagra-like” experiment may best be tried with the amino acid arginine concentrate in capsule form.
If you do choose the watermelon version, be aware the best source would be juicing the rind. The rind is much lower in sugar and higher in citrulline. Also, for those who are susceptible to higher blood sugars, watermelon is not the best fruit to take in high amounts. It is well known that high blood sugar can actually lead to impotence.
Be well!

 

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