Nitric Oxide supplements are natural formulations that bring together phytonutrients and nutrients that have an impressive research backing as far as enhancing the ability of the body to produce nitric acid is concerned. These supplements particularly boost the production of nitric oxide in important organs of the body such as the brain and arteries.
Previously, high doses of L-arginine were used to accomplish the nitric oxide production but later on it was found through research that L-arginine dangerously promotes inflammation. High-quality nitric oxide supplements now contain L-citrulline.
What is L-citrulline?
This is a non-essential amino acid produced naturally by the body, and it can also be found in some foods such as watermelons. It is used in the treatment of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, muscle weakness, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, high blood pressure and other medical conditions. During workouts, L-citrulline is used for increasing energy and enhancing athletic performance.
Metabolism of L-citrulline
As stated above, L-citrulline can either be obtained from foods or manufactured in the body from ornithine which is an amino acid obtained from foods through the urea cycle which is a bio-chemical process. After L-citrulline is ingested, it is further converted into another amino acid known as L-arginine and finally into nitric oxide with the help of other enzymes. Even though the body can manufacture L-citrulline, studies suggest that boosting its levels through intake of nitric oxide supplements has significant health benefits.
Benefits of L-citrulline
L-citrulline as a strategic ingredient in nitric oxide supplements brings in lots of benefits to the user. These benefits are clinically proven and are endorsed by key figures in the health industry.
Enhanced Exercise Tolerance
Research shows that increasing the levels of L-citrulline through nitric oxide supplements during exercise, helps in enhancing performance. Researchers observed that laboratory animals, when given L-citrulline and then subjected to intense and strenuous exercises, were able to endure and perform longer when compared to the placebo group. These animals also had lower levels of lactate and blood ammonia which are the two main waste products produced during exercise. This research was published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology in 2011.
Another study, published in September 2010 in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, studied the effect of L-citrulline supplementation on cyclists. Cyclists who took the L-citrulline at least two hours before exercise reported an improved use of amino acids by their tissues when compared to the control group.
A number of clinical studies conducted have shown that taking nitric oxide supplements improves the health of the heart and arteries. For instance, one of the studies published in 2010 in the Cardiology Journal brought together subjects who had heart failures. It reported that a two months consumption of L-citrulline helped in enhancing the performance of the subjects on a treadmill, lowered their blood pressure and improved their heart functions.
Similarly, a study published in March 2012 in the International Journal of Cardiology revealed that healthy male subjects, who took L-citrulline for seven days, reported improved arterial function.
Specialists at the University of Southern California also found L-citrulline to be an effective vasodilator that helps in protecting the body from cardiovascular problems. It does this by lowering blood pressure and enhancing blood flow to the body organs. The improved blood flow is the mechanism for the reversal of erectile dysfunction and where the term nitric oxide erection originated.
These positive findings prove that indeed nitric oxide supplements have immense cardiovascular benefits.
L-citrulline also helps in the supply of vital ingredients that the body needs in making certain proteins.
L-Citrulline Sources and Dosage
L-citrulline can be obtained from nitric oxide supplements available in health food stores and online. Since this ingredient is a natural amino acid, it is considered safe to use, and it has no nasty side effects.
Although no minimum effective dosage has as yet been established, clinical studies suggest a daily dosage of about 5 to 8 grams. However, there are factors that determine this dosage which include the health and age of the user. It is important that you follow the directions of the manufacturer as indicated on the product labels or online portals. Consulting with physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare experts before using can also enhance your chances of success.
The usage of L-citrulline in nitric oxide supplements is, therefore, strategic and beneficial. As more research findings keep on pouring in, the effectiveness of this ingredient is likely to assume expanded roles in the body.