You’ve heard about the long-time, mainstay drugs in the fight against decreased sexual function. Well, new research has shown that a common amino acid may also be able to help – and in a way that could potentially address the root of the issue.
You see, L-citrulline seems to have shown some promise when it comes to supporting proper blood flow.1 And while it may even help to address possible causes of erectile dysfunction, the matter does deserve more research.2
But, L-Citrulline could be helpful, and here’s why…
Understanding An Erection
What happens — chemically — during an erection?
It’s simple. Blood vessels use nitric oxide to prompt the smooth muscles in the penis to relax. Simultaneously, a widening of the blood vessels occurs to increase blood flow to the penis. At this time, nitric oxide also allows the blood vessels to remain flexible and open, and to keep promoting unrestricted blood flow to the penis.3
So, nitric oxide is a pretty important component in promoting firm, hard, and healthy erections.
How L-citrulline Works
Well, the body needs an amino acid known as L-arginine to make nitric oxide. The exciting news is that when L-citrulline is added to the body, it’s converted to L-arginine. In fact, one study showed a significant proportion of erectile dysfunction patients have low l-Arg levels. And lower levels of nitric oxide could possibly increase the erectile dysfunction risk.4
Now, L-arginine might support clogged arteries — for the same reason, it may help with erectile dysfunction. Because by converting to nitric oxide, it helps to widen your blood vessels.5
So, why not just take an L-arginine supplement to support blood flow to the penis?
Well, some doctors have prescribed L-arginine to patients in the past. However, further study explores whether or not L-arginine supplements are as effective as when L-arginine is actually made in the body. And they might not be. It might be due to the fact that body relies on L-arginine for lots of other functions.6
So, How Can L-citrulline Help With Erectile Dysfunction?
Turns out, when L-citrulline is turned into nitric oxide, it also helps to kick-start the synthesis and secretion of a compound called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF could help restore and improve how your blood vessels function. In one particular, it was proposed that L-citrulline may be a possible “therapeutic strategy for the treatment of erectile dysfunction”.7
According to another clinical trial — 50% of subjects reported an improvement in erection hardness while using L-citrulline. So, the facilitators of that study proposed that maybe L-citrulline was a safe alternative treatment to be considered when dealing with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. It certainly deserves further research.8
Is There a Way to Get More L-citrulline In Your Diet?
Of course, L-citrulline supplements are available over-the-counter. However, you might want to also think about naturally increasing the amount of L-citrulline in your diet.
Watermelon is one of the richest sources of L-citrulline, while certain vegetables (like garlic), meat, and nuts are also good sources.
If you do choose to take a supplement, please read the label carefully to make sure you know exactly how much of the desired ingredient you’re really getting in your bottle. And if your issue feels severe, definitely check in with your healthcare practitioner.
Many drugs in the marketplace claim to help men maintain their sexual function. Some even promote the idea that an erection could be possible right after taking a pill. But, do these pills affect the long-term problem of sexual dysfunction? In many cases, they might not.
L-citrulline is natural and it does show promise. It could potentially aid in helping to achieve an erection. And, it may even have a hand in helping to restore the long-term health of the blood vessels in the penis thereby targeting one of the roots of sexual dysfunction.
However, you should know studies are still very limited. But the likelihood of more research seems high. So, the future is bright for what can be a very emotionally debilitating condition.