The name citrulina derives from the Latin name of watermelon – Citrullus vulgaris, because it was from the juice of this fruit that it was first isolated.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Citrulline – what it is
- Watermelon juice and citrulline level
- Citrulline and intestinal resection
- Citrulline and physical effort
- Citrulline in malnutrition?
- Citruline and erection problems
Citrulline – what it is
Citrulline is an amino acid that is formed mainly in enterocytes, i.e. intestinal cells.Mostly it is produced in the initial part of the small intestine, in the intestinal villi.Therefore, its level in the blood reflects their function.There is a significant decrease in its concentration in inflammatory diseases, eg in Crohn’s disease.It can be formed from glutamine or arginine.In itself, citrulline can also be converted to arginine.This process occurs primarily in the kidneys.Citrulline goes to the kidneys via the circulatory system, which is absorbed from the intestines, also indirectly through the liver.The renal synthesis of arginine is able to satisfy our need for this amino acid.
Here you can read: Citrulline – improvement of the muscle pump
Watermelon juice and citrulline level
In experimental studies, it was observed that drinking watermelon juice increases the concentration of citrulline and arginine in the blood.Therefore, it was concluded that by supplementing citrulline, we indirectly supplement arginine as well.Some authors even argue that if we are to increase arginine concentration, citrulline will be more effective in this task than arginine alone.In order not to be left with dry facts, let’s proceed to verify the benefits that can be derived from citrulline supplementation.When should you consider it?
Citrulline and intestinal resection
Under certain circumstances, the removal of a piece of the intestine becomes a necessity.As we already know, it is in this part of our body that citrulline is formed.A decrease in the number of enterocytes or the atrophy of the intestinal villi (for example in the course of untreated celiac disease) can lead to deficiencies of citrulline, and thus arginine.Arginine supplements are definitely less available than preparations containing citrulline.In addition, citrulline passes through the liver without any undesirable effect, unchanged.In the case of arginine, a large part of it is caught by this organ and there is a risk of side effects.Therefore, it is suggested to supplement citrulline in post-resection conditions.
Citrulline and physical effort
There are studies documenting the positive effect of citrulline supplementation on training performance.In various studies, different doses were used – 3 g, 6 g, 8 g and 9 g. The end result showed delay in fatigue in the subjects, increased exercise time and even reduced muscle pain after exercise.It finds its physiological justification.In working muscles, during the long-lasting effort, the level of ammonia increases, which in high doses leads to the intensification of glycolysis (glucose breaking down).Anaerobic decomposition of glucose leads to the formation of lactic acid and the accumulation of muscle fatigue.To effectively remove excess ammonia, it must go to the ornithine cycle in which it will be transformed into urea.
Supplementation with citrulline, an important ingredient in this process, can therefore increase the efficiency of ammonia removal.In addition, citrulline is the precursor of arginine, which is a substrate for the production of nitric oxide (NO).NO potentially improves blood flow and positively affects the oxidation processes in the mitochondrion.In a double-blind study with athletic men, they were administered 2.4 g L-citrulline per day or placebo for a week.On the 8th day, they were given a supplement or placebo in the usual dose one hour before physical exercise (riding a cycloergometer).The distance they had to cover was 4 km.L-citrulline reduced the time taken to overcome the distance (by 1.5%) compared to the placebo and reduced the subjective feeling of tiredness after exercise.Researchers suggest that L-citrine supplementation must be used for a minimum of one week to achieve the expected effects.
Citrulline in malnutrition?
There has not been enough research on humans, but in animal studies, more accurately on malnourished rats, a greater increase in muscle mass has been demonstrated as a result of supplementation with citrulline.Not only did the muscle mass increase, but also their strength.It is very likely that the mentioned amino acid may bring similar benefits to undernourished people.
Citruline and erection problems
There are not many studies verifying the effect of citrulline supplementation on male sexual performance.The results of one of the experiments, however, allow you to think optimistically.In half of the men, supplementation with citrulline 1500 mg per day improved the quality of erection.Citrulline is safe and well tolerated in oral use.