How long it’ll take for L-citrulline to work for ED will depend on many factors. There’s no doubt of its effectiveness; however, you must fully read this article if you want to maximize its results.
L-citrulline is one of those supplements that require certain “knowledge” before using.
L-citrulline is an amino acid capable of increasing plasma levels of arginine. This effect reduces blood pressure and improves muscle blood perfusion, especially in older adults, thus improving sports performance.
Its most appreciated effect, however, is its role in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
What is L-citrulline? A closer look…
Citrulline is an amino acid, one of the “building blocks” that our body uses to maintain a healthy balance. In this case, L-citrulline has a particularly relevant role in forming new muscle proteins and replenishing another amino acid reserve called L-arginine.
Most animal and vegetable origin foods provide miniscule amounts of citrulline.
However, our body can synthesize it from other amino acids, such as glutamine, without the need to ingest it directly. This last characteristic makes citrulline non-essential amino acid.
L-citrulline is well absorbed in the intestines, easily crosses the body’s natural barriers, and reaches the bloodstream to be metabolized by the kidneys, transforming it into arginine.
When citrulline gets in the liver, it becomes part of the urea cycle, a chemical process that allows the body to eliminate toxins and potentially harmful substances.
What is L-citrulline used for?
L-citrulline’s main function is to increase arginine levels, an amino acid highly beneficial to the body, capable of preserving arterial and muscular health.
In fact, the consumption of citrulline could be more effective than the intake of arginine in increasing the latter molecule’s blood levels.
Thus, citrulline would be a powerful protector of the endothelium (tissue that forms the blood vessels), increasing the levels of vasodilatory substances, such as , and preventing the immune system from acting indiscriminately on blood vessel tissues (avoiding premature vein and artery aging).
Besides, citrulline has also been shown to have an anabolic potential by stimulating muscle blood flow and activating a chain of signal molecules that regulate muscle fibers’ growth.
Which foods are rich in L-citrulline?
Citrulline is an amino acid quite difficult to obtain through diet alone. It’s found in negligible amounts in meat, fish, and vegetables. Watermelon is the only product with relevant amounts of this amino acid, so its consumption is recommended if you want to increase your citrulline levels naturally.
Citrulline and watermelon
The citrulline content in watermelon will depend on characteristics such as skin color, rind thickness, and the presence or absence of seeds, among others.
It is estimated that yellow watermelon is the richest in citrulline (about 36 mg of citrulline per 100 grams), while the common red watermelon has the lowest content (16 mg per 100 grams).
Although watermelon consumption can provide small amounts of citrulline to your diet, it is still difficult to reproduce the effects described in clinical studies.
Nevertheless, it is still possible to directly extract the citrulline from the watermelon’s skin to create natural supplements.
These supplements provide you with a concentrated citrulline form in a more convenient way, without the need to ingest large quantities of the whole fruit, which is not always available in grocery stores.
What type of citrulline supplements are available?
If you’ve decided to acquire a nutritional citrulline supplement to increase your levels effectively, you will find different types of citrulline supplements at your disposal.
Currently, these products differ in two main types, pure citrulline preparations, and citrulline malate.
- Citrulline or L-citrulline: Under this name, the active form of the amino acid citrulline is marketed, with no other accompanying molecules
- Citrulline malate: In this case, citrulline is combined with malic acid (malate), a compound present in nature (it was first isolated from apple cider) that is very present in the chemical reactions needed to obtain energy (ATP)
Thus, citrulline malate supplements may provide the benefits of citrulline plus an additional energy boost that can be very useful for sports fans and those who need to build up strength throughout the day.
If you don’t need malate, however, L-citrulline supplements will be more economical.
It is also possible (and common) to find supplements that combine citrulline with other L-citrulline function-enhancing molecules. Among them, you will find the amino acids arginine and ornithine, which are part of the protein synthesis cycles and waste disposal along with citrulline.
Citrulline – Arginine – Ornithine
- Arginine + citrulline: The combination of arginine and its precursor, citrulline, will achieve a notable increase in the first amino acid. Increased arginine levels will increase the production of the vasodilator nitric oxide, which could lower blood pressure, increase muscle blood flow and regulate immune function
- Ornithine + Citrulline: Ornithine is an amino acid related to the metabolism of citrulline and arginine. It may improve the stress response, lessening the feeling of fatigue. Although no reliable studies are available on the actual effectiveness of this combination, it is advertised as a supplement that speeds muscle recovery
Does L-citrulline work for ed?
Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection during sexual intercourse. This symptom may be due to psychological causes (stress, anxiety, and depression) or systemic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic disorders).
The vasodilatory effects of citrulline have led experts to formulate different hypotheses about its potential to treat vascular-caused erectile dysfunction.
The first studies conducted on animals (rats) demonstrated this supplement’s ability to improve blood flow to the male member, favoring erection development.
Nevertheless, there is still a limited study of the effectiveness of citrulline on erectile dysfunction in human males, although results are promising.
Two of the most recent clinical studies have found a significant relationship between citrulline supplementation and improvement in erectile dysfunction symptoms:
- Control of mild to moderate erectile dysfunction: This German clinical trial administered 1.5 grams of citrulline for one month to a group of men (age average 56) with erectile dysfunction. Half of them experienced an improvement in their symptoms
- Subjective improvement in the quality of sexual relations: In another study (carried out in Japan), the administration of a combination of 800 mg of citrulline and 300 mg of resveratrol (a substance of vegetable origin with possible vasoactive activity) increased the satisfaction degree described by men during sexual intercourse
Both studies highlight the need for further research on the potential of citrulline to improve sex. This supplement may be an alternative to Viagra, a drug that many men prefer to avoid. Ultimately, citrulline may benefit men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction.
Is citrulline supplementation beneficial for women?
Many women may wonder if citrulline is the right supplement for them. This amino acid’s role as a possible remedy for erectile dysfunction may give this supplement an appearance of male exclusivity that could not be further from the truth.
Citrulline may also benefit female health.
Keep in mind that female genitals also possess erectile tissue that will benefit from increased blood flow during sexual intercourse. Thus, a link has been found between citrulline supplementation and libido increase in women.
Also, the women in the experiment who took citrulline benefited from reducing their oxidative stress markers, which may translate into a decrease in the number of free radicals in the blood.
This factor may improve women’s overall health in addition to their sexual health, helping to mitigate the effects of aging.
According to experts, if you take citrulline, your creatinine levels may increase, which is a marker of kidney damage.
Does this mean that citrulline causes kidney damage? No! It simply means that by increasing non-pathological creatinine, this [analytical] marker will no longer be valid.
L-citrulline doesn’t just work for ED
Citrulline is a supplement with multiple uses and benefits. In addition to improving the sexual health of men and women, this nutritional supplement will promote cardiovascular health, regulate immune function, and exert an overall antioxidant effect, among other benefits.
The following list summarizes the main actions of this supplement:
- Cardiovascular Health: Citrulline may mitigate the increase in blood pressure during stressful or physically demanding situations. It would especially benefit those individuals diagnosed with prehypertension (higher than normal blood pressure, but not high enough to require drug treatment)
- Muscle growth: Citrulline induces increased muscle blood flow and stimulates muscle protein synthesis, promoting increased lean mass
- Sports performance: The increase in blood flow allows a discreet but significant increase in older adults’ sports performance. It also favors post-training recovery. However, these benefits do not extend to young and healthy people
- Nutrition: It has been shown that citrulline is an amino acid with good absorption and tolerance, which can be useful for those convalescents who require additional nutrition, improving their blood protein levels
Some people wonder if citrulline supplements might contribute to weight loss. The truth is that it may increases lean mass and promote greater bone density.
For this reason, citrulline supplementation could cause a paradoxical weight gain. However, this increase isn’t “fat-related,” so it would not alter your physical appearance.
Is citrulline or arginine supplement better?
Both of these supplements are capable of increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body, leading to blood pressure reduction.
Studies in animals (rats) appear to confirm the increased citrulline activity in increasing muscle mass and sports performance. Additionally, citrulline supplements would be better absorbed, and their intake would not cause gastrointestinal distress (the main adverse effect of arginine supplements).
Keep in mind that in order for L-citrulline to work for ED, you must take it consistently
However, the big question for citrulline is its long-term safety. While arginine is safe for long periods of time (up to a maximum of 3 years), L-citrulline needs further studies before it can be recommended for supplementation for more than six months.
Is citrulline supplementation safe?
Citrulline supplementation for a limited period of time (one to six months) appears to be safe in healthy adults. Its effects would especially benefit older people with a vascular problem.
Although no relevant drug interactions have been described, the effect of this supplement on blood pressure and metabolism may alter the effects of antidiabetics, antihypertensives, and nitrates (such as drugs for angina or erectile dysfunction). In this case, medical clearance will be required.
Similarly, the use of this supplement without medical supervision is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women. Also, citrulline supplements should not be used freely by people under eighteen, suffering from chronic diseases, or by individuals undergoing surgery.
Allergies and intolerances
Watermelon allergy is very rare. However, most citrulline supplements are obtained from this fruit, so avoid consuming this supplement if you suffer from this allergy. Likewise, if you are gluten intolerant, lactose, or nuts, check the list of excipients carefully in your supplement.
How long does it take for l-citrulline to work for ed? Summary and verdict
If it’s your first time taking citrulline, it will take around 2 weeks before seeing ED results. However, after that period, its regular intake can yield results within the same day of taking it. But remember, don’t take it for more than six months without medical supervision.
Citrulline is an amino acid with incredible potential. Its effects on cardiovascular health and muscle performance can improve older adults’ quality of life, allowing them to enjoy a healthy life both at the sporting level and in the more intimate sphere by providing an alternative to erectile dysfunction management.
If you are not going through a good run and need to strengthen your cardiovascular health and muscles, citrulline could support you during the most complicated times.
This natural substance will assist your recovery process or help you during times of low libido. As you know now, L-citrulline can work for ED. Who knew that watermelon hid so many possibilities?