L-Citrulline and Nitric Oxide Levels

L-Citrulline is an amino acid produced by the body as a byproduct of synthesizing arginine, another amino acid. L-Citrulline and Nitric Oxide level is made possible by nitric oxide synthases, a class of enzymes that synthesize nitric oxide from L-arginine. L-arginine is a form of arginine.

People use L-citrulline supplements for diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, heart disease, hypertension, erectile dysfunction and certain other health conditions.

Bodybuilders and other athletes, on the other hand, use L-citrulline to reduce the effect of fatigue, combat muscle weakness, upregulate energy and generally improve athletic performance.

Benefits of Citrulline Include:

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  • Rids the Body of Fatigue-Causing Metabolic Waste Products
  • Increases Nitric Oxide Production
  • Increases ATP and Phosphocreatine Recovery
  • Improves Muscle Performance and Recovery
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L-citrulline and Nitric Oxide

Nitric oxide (NO) is a gaseous signaling molecule in the human body that acts as a powerful vasodilator that enhances circulation all around the human body.

Nitric oxide boosters are big-heartedly used as pre-workout supplements among weight-lifters and various other athletes that could benefit from increased circulation.

Other benefits of increasing nitric oxide levels include:

  • Preventing cardiovascular disease, as it relaxes arterial walls, dilates the vessels, and improves the flow of blood.
  • Improves brain functioning and reduces cognitive decline, due to the fact that it greatly enhances blood flow to the brain and functions as a secondary neurotransmitter between nerve cells.
  • Acts as one of the main ‘ingredients’ behind erections, and without the molecule, achieving an erection will be difficult.
  • Greatly improve the effectiveness of your workouts, due to the fact that your muscles will receive more oxygen and nutrients when your veins are dilated and circulation is enhanced.

L-citrulline is an intermediate in the urea cycle. The urea cycle is a set of biochemical processes that occur mainly in the liver, and to a small degree in the kidneys, which convert toxic ammonia into less toxic urea.

Accumulations of ammonia and other nitrogenous waste substances can lead to the development of brain dysfunction stemming from the liver.

In one step of the urea cycle, L-citrulline is converted into L-arginine inside the kidneys and then released into the blood.

L-arginine is then used to synthesize nitric oxide inside the endothelium of circulatory vessels, as well as some other organs and tissues.

Diagnostic Value

Although L-citrulline is not normally present in proteins but may infiltrate some proteins as the result of citrullination.

Citrullination is a process precipitated by a different group of enzymes that become active when cells die or become inflamed.

In response, the body produces antibodies to these proteins, which means that an elevated level of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies can signal the presence of disease even before symptoms appear.

This is noteworthy in terms of diagnostic value. People with rheumatoid arthritis, for example, have higher than normal ACPA levels because the proteins fibrin and vimentin are vulnerable to citrullination.

In the same way, low levels of nitric oxide suggest there is limited citrulline and arginine available, while elevated levels of citrulline indicate a deficiency of argininosuccinate synthase, which causes a hereditary disease called citrullinemia.

L-Citrulline Safety

The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database states that L-citrulline is possibly safe for proper oral use in both grown persons and kids.

In adults, 0.13 g per kg weight doses have been safely used daily for 9 months. This totals to roughly 9 grams daily for an individual weighing 70 kg.

In children, oral doses of 0.17 g per kg per day have been used with apparent safety.

In 2-year olds, intravenous L-citrulline has been administered at 5.7 grams daily for 20 months without any adverse side effects.

There is insufficient data available to rate the safety of L-citrulline supplementation in women who are nursing or pregnant, and as a result, usage is not advised.

As already mentioned, there are not any adverse effects associated with proper L-citrulline supplementation, but being that L-citrulline may increase nitric oxide, and vasodilation, conjunctive usage with antihypertensive drugs, nitrates for heart disease and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors is not commended.

Also, caution is advised if taking an L-citrulline supplement with herbal supplements that have antihypertensive potentials.

The full scope of L-citrulline therapeutic effects is still being explored, but if you have any medical conditions or are taking prescription drugs, then it is best to discuss L-citrulline supplementation with your specialist before beginning.

 

Grant Philips
 

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