Citrulline Malate

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What is Citrulline 

Citrulline is an amino acid that was first found in watermelom.

It is considered nonessential, meaning that your body can naturally produce some on its own.

However, you can increase your levels by eating foods containing citrulline or by taking dietary supplements, rather than relying on your body’s production alone.

These higher levels may produce beneficial effects on health and exercise performance, as discussed later in this article.

Citrulline has important roles in the body, but unlike some amino acids, it is not used to build proteins.

However, it plays a necessary part in the urea cycle, which rids your body of harmful compounds. Specifically, the urea cycle removes ammonia from the body. The final product of this cycle is urea, which your body gets rid of in urine.

Citrulline can also help widen your blood vessels and may play a role in muscle building.

 How Does It Work?

Citrulline produces several important effects in the body.

One major way it works is by increasing vasodilation.

Vasodilation refers to the widening of arteries or veins. It’s associated with lower blood pressure and increased blood flow.

After citrulline is consumed, some is converted to another amino acid called arginine.

Arginine is converted into a molecule called nitric oxide, which causes vasodilation of blood vessels by relaxing the smooth muscle cells that constrict them.

Interestingly, consuming citrulline may increase arginine in the body more than consuming arginine itself.

This is because of differences in how the body processes and absorbs arginine and citrulline.

The increase in nitric oxide and blood flow may be one of the processes involved in citrulline’s beneficial effects on exercise performance.

Although citrulline isn’t an amino acid used directly to build proteins, it has been shown to increase protein synthesis by stimulating an important signaling pathway involved in muscle building.

Citrulline may also reduce the liver’s uptake of certain amino acids and prevent their breakdown.

Through these dual effects on protein synthesis and amino acid breakdown, it may contribute to maintaining or increasing muscle mass.

Types of Citrulline Supplements

There are two major forms of citrulline in dietary supplements:

  1. L-citrulline: This simply refers to citrulline by itself, with nothing else attached.
  2. Citrulline malate: This refers to the combination of citrulline and another compound called malate, which is important for energy production.

While the two forms of may produce some similar effects, citrulline malate is more common in sports supplements.

However, when citrulline malate is used, it isn’t clear which health effects are due to citrulline and which are due to malate.

It Has Several Benefits for Your Health

Researchers have looked into citrulline’s potential health effects, including effects on blood vessels, erectile dysfunction and exercise performance.

It May Help Your Blood Vessels Widen

Improving the ability of the blood vessels to widen can potentially improve blood pressure and blood flow to tissues.

Studies have shown that a single dose of L-citrulline does not improve the ability of the arteries to widen in either healthy or diseased individuals.

However, when people who have heart disease or are at risk of heart disease have consumed L-citrulline for seven days or longer, the ability of their arteries to widen has improved.

So, although a single dose may not be very effective at widening your blood vessels, taking supplements in the longer term may be more effective.

It May Reduce Blood Pressure

Citrulline supplements may decrease blood pressure, particularly in people with high blood pressure.

Studies of 30 to 40 participants looked at the effects of citrulline supplements in adults with high blood pressure or other heart conditions.

They found that participants’ blood pressure had reduced by 4–15% after eight weeks.

What’s more, in a small study examining 12 adults with normal blood pressure, researchers found that citrulline reduced blood pressure by 6–16% after 7 days.

However, the evidence in healthy individuals is not conclusive, since other researchers found no benefit of citrulline over periods of one to four weeks.

Overall, it is unclear if it substantially affects blood pressure in healthy individuals.

Other Health Benefits

Citrulline can increase the rise in growth hormone (GH) seen after exercise.

The post-exercise rise in GH and other hormones may be involved in the beneficial adaptations your body experiences when you exercise.

The amino acid may also improve erections in men with erectile dysfunction, probably through its ability to increase blood flow.

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