Let’s get right to the point. If you are a man who wants to ensure you can rise to the occasion and maintain an erection, then you need start taking the inexpensive amino acid L-citrulline.
In the body, L-citrulline is converted to the amino acid L-arginine, which goes on to make another important substance nitric oxide. And nitric oxide is the secret to hard, firm, healthy erections.
Heres how it works…
The endothelium (inner lining) of blood vessels uses nitric oxide to signal a compound called cyclic GMP (cGMP). It is cGMP that triggers smooth muscles in the penis to relax.
As mentioned, L-arginine is the substance the body uses to create nitric oxide. And while you might think supplemental L-arginine would be most effective way to raise nitric oxide levels, that’s not the case. The most recently published research shows taking L-citrulline is the better option. Here’s the situation …
L-citrulline works better than L-arginine!
Although supplemental L-arginine is quickly absorbed and well tolerated in single doses of 3–6 grams,1 more than half of it (50–70%) is almost immediately converted—not into nitric oxide—but into ornithine and urea, primarily by an enzyme called arginase.2
To make matters even worse, L-arginine is a very popular molecule and plays a number of other important roles in the body. L-arginine is used to make proteins, creatine (which is used to make ATP, the body’s energy currency), vasopressin (a hormone that regulates water retention, preventing dehydration), and agmatine (a neurotransmitter with brain protective effects).
The 2011 Italian Sex Study That Will Change Your Life Forever!
Scientific Proof That L-Citrulline Restores Erectile Function!
The evidence that L-citrulline could literally cure erectile dysfunction had been building for sometime, but researchers at the University of Foggia, in Foggia, Italy, wanted definitive confirmation.
The question they asked themselves was simple: Would supplementation of L-citrulline restore complete and full erectile function in men with ED?
What they showed with their clinical study has the potential of improving the lives of millions of men the world over. Here’s what they did …
Using the self-reported Erection Hardness Score (EHS) system, they recruited 24 men who had mild erectile dysfunction. Under the EHS system, a score of 1 is considered severe dysfunction, a score of 2 is moderate, a score of 3 is mild, and a score of 4 indicates no erectile dysfunction.
The 24 volunteers with mild ED had an average age 56.5 years. The researchers first gave each of the men a placebo for 1 month. For the next month, each unknowingly received 1.5 grams per day of L-citrulline.
During the study, the Italian scholars collected information from the participants. The men’s Erection Hardness Score, number of intercourses per month, treatment satisfaction, and adverse events were all recorded, although all the men completed the study with no adverse events.
At the end of the study, the researchers found that only two men saw improvement in their Erection Hardness Score and sexual satisfaction while taking the placebo. However, when taking L-citrulline, 12 of the men reported completely restored normal erectile function! These men saw their Erection Hardness Scores
rise from 3 (penile rigidity that allowed vaginal penetration but not completion of successful intercourse) to 4 (normal penetration and successful intercourse).
Additionally, the mean number of intercourses per month increased for the entire group and all patients reporting EHS improvement said they were very satisfied.
Finally, at the conclusion of the study, the men were informed they had received a commercially available nutrient (Lcitrulline) and were given the option to
continue on it or receive a prescription for Viagra® or another PDE-5 inhibitor. All 12 men who had benefitted chose L-citrulline.
This study, which was reported in the January, 2011, edition of the prestigious medical journal, Urology, shows the enormous potential for L-citrulline in combating erectile dysfunction.
So, in addition to arginase, L-arginine is targeted not only by the nitric oxide synthase (NOS), the enzyme that converts it to nitric oxide, but by the other enzymes that convert it into these other molecules.
That’s where L-citrulline comes in. In contrast to L-arginine, L-citrulline is not metabolized in the areas of the body where arginase likes to hang out (the intestines and liver). Instead, L-citrulline goes into the kidneys where it is rapidly converted into—you guessed it: L-arginine.
That’s why L-citrulline is the better choice for men looking to produce strong, hard erections. And this isn’t just a theory, scientific studies have proven L-citrilline supplementation increases blood levels of L-arginine more effectively than supplementation of L-arginine alone.
A 2008 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over study conducted by researchers at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany showed oral L-citrulline increased L-arginine blood levels and boosted nitric oxide-dependent signaling and therefore levels of cGMP much more effectively than L-arginine.3
L-citrulline corrects the cause of ED, Viagra does not
Other studies have confirmed that supplementing with L-citrulline can actually reverse blood vessel lining dysfunctions!4, 5These studies demonstrate that L-citrulline activates the pathway in the body through which L-arginine is used to produce first nitric oxide, then cCMP, and also another very important compound for restoring a man’s ability to have an erection naturally called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
VEGF repairs and improves the function of the blood vessels within the corpus cavernosum, the sponge-like regions of erectile tissue that contain most of the blood in the penis during penile erection. In 2008, research showed that when nitric oxide production is increased, new smooth muscle cells are made in the corpus cavernosum and VEGF is secreted, which can restore normal blood vessel function—and the ability to have an erection—in the penis. Another way to say this is … when you provide the body with enough nitric oxide via L-citrulline supplementation, you can literally cure the cause of erectile dysfunction!
In contrast to Viagra, which may help some men have an erection a half hour after they take a pill, but will do nothing to correct the real problem, so he no longer needs a pill, L-citrulline supplementation may not only help a man with ED have an erection, over time, it helps restore health to the blood vessels in the penis, correcting the underlying cause of ED!6
So while Viagra and the other PDE5- inhibitors are a viable option for some men in the short term, a program of daily L-citrulline supplementation makes a lot more sense. Plus, you don’t have to worry about adverse side-effects associated with Viagra. Additionally, timing the taking of these drugs, so a man can be “ready” when he wants to be, is highly inconvenient. And these drugs are expensive; Viagra averages $6.00 per dose!
One last interesting note … L-citrulline may also be of great benefit for postmenopausal women. One reason women are protected from cardiovascular disease before menopause is that estrogen inhibits arginase, so pre-menopause, women produce more nitric oxide. L-citrulline may help postmenopausal women increase their nitric oxide production, promoting healthy veins and blood flow throughout the body, improving their heart health and sex life as well.
Bottom line on all of this is clear. Whether you are a man that suffers from erectile dysfunction or not, daily L-citrulline supplementation is one of the smartest things you can do for your love life and for your health.
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This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult with a physician before embarking on a dietary supplement program.
Evans RW, Fernstrom JD, et al. Biochemical responses of healthy subjects during dietary supplementation with L-arginine. J Nutr Biochem. 2004 Sep;15(9):534-9. PMID: 15350985
Ochiai M, Hayashi T, Morita M, et al. Short-term effects of l-citrulline supplementation on arterial stiffness in middle-aged men. Int J Cardiol. 2010 Nov 8. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 21067832
Schwedhelm E, Maas R, Freese R, et al. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of oral L-citrulline and L-arginine: impact on nitric oxide metabolism. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2008;65: 51-59. PMID: 17662090
Waugh WH, Daeschner CW, Files BA, et al. Oral citrulline as arginine precursor may be beneficial in sickle cell disease: early phase two results. J Natl Med Assoc. 2001;93:363-371. PMID: 11688916
Smith HA, Canter JA, Christian KG, et al. Nitric oxide precursors and congenital heart surgery: a randomized controlled trial of oral citrulline. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2006;132:58-65. PMID: 16798303
Komori K, Tsujimura A, Takao T, et al. Nitric oxide synthesis leads to vascular endothelial growth factor synthesis via the NO/cyclic guanosine 3=,5=-monophosphate cGMP) pathway in human corpus cavernosal smooth muscle cells. J Sex Med. 2008;5:1623-1635.PMID: 18331270