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Citrulline: Does it work? Uses for NO, ED, Athletics

September 12, 2019


Hello. I had a patient come in the other
day taking a citrulline he was taking
citrulline for various uses. one of them was erectile dysfunction now the
question is what is citrulline why is it used where did it come from
does it work I’ll I’ll go over all of those in just a minute but a brief
introduction Ford Breuer proved men heart attack stroke cancer disability
that’s a dementia prevention so citrulline is a non-essential amino acid
the kidneys convert citrulline to l-arginine which is another amino acid i
remember remember amino acids are used to make proteins N-O what is N O?
nitric oxide well what is nitric oxide we’re going to talk about nitric oxide
for just a few minutes because that appears to be the functional area at
least theoretically for citrulline nitric oxide is critical to the intima
or endothelial lining of the arteries citrulline by the way was named for
watermelon or citrus it was first extracted from watermelon now as I
mentioned nitric oxide and therefore the intima layer of the arteries is the
critical concept here there are three major layers of the arteries the intima
the media and the adventure we’ll ignore the adventuia and just talk about the
intimate media mostly the intima the intima is a slick single cell, very
thin lining doesn’t provide any structural strength but it provides a
lot of metabolic advantages the media provides the structural strength and
here’s what happens with clot or plaque development LDL. remember the bad
cholesterol when there are cracks in this intima layer LDL can go through
those cracks if there’s something like diabetes or prediabetes
disease that LDL usually goes through the media as well but again with with
diabetes periodontal disease you get inflammation impact on this media as
well things called proteoglycans form there’s the LDL can no longer go through
the media and it gets stuck in between the intima and the media that may sound
very confusing here’s some pictures real pictures real patients so actually these
were patients that had died due to heart attack so this is the cross section of
the artery the media muscle layer the intima that very thin layer that we’re
talking about with again nitric oxide is critical to the health of this layer um
the more cracks you have in this layer the more LDL or bad cholesterol can go
through those cracks and gets lodged if it can’t pass on through the media layer
it gets lodged in between that is plaque LDL which is migrated through
now here’s another concept our own immune system starts creating
friendly-fire for us and it attacks that play it releases enzymes that start
liquefying that plaque here’s the problem that liquefied or inflamed
plaque hot plaque if it breaks back through this intimate
layer it’ll cause a clot to be formed that clot is what kills patients four
five four times out of five nineteen times out of twenty heart attack and
stroke is caused by the clot this black thing here not the plaque itself but
that clot is caused by inflamed plaque that has broken back through the
intimate layer and touched the blood that’s again a heart attack stroke
inflammation cardiovascular inflammation 101 but again I’m repeating it and going
through it because of the importance of the intima layer and anything that
improves the health of the intima layer like nitric oxide so again this is all
about nitric oxide that’s the major focus for citrulline and we’ll talk
about more the connection and again just a few minutes but for the biochemistry
geeks out there a molecular model this molecular model is very similar to urea
urea is that it’s actually part of the urea cycle for those of you who are not
biochemistry geeks their urea cycle has a lot of uses within the body one of the
main ones being that’s how we take ammonia off of amino acids those of us
eating too many proteins to excrete that ammonia in the urine so now let’s get a
little bit more practical about citrulline what what do people use it
for well anything that’s going to improve blood flow so hypertension or
high blood pressure erectile dysfunction diabetes and diabetic vascular injury
again diabetes creates its injury to the vessels by causing inflammation which we
we saw some pictures of a few minutes ago weight lifters and bodybuilders use use citrulline other athletes use
citrulline again many of you out there whenever I do one of these videos on a
supplement I usually get a lot of reactions a lot of passion around
different supplements and if you use citrulline I’d love to hear your
comments do you think obviously you think it works if you’re using it now
what does the scientific literature say this one is enhancing cycling time so
this was a study looking at cyclists to get to the punch line on this I’ll show
a couple of a couple of things on it basically this
was a placebo a randomized clinical trial they gave some people some of the
cyclists placebo and some of the cyclists citrulline and sure enough what
they measured afterwards was nitric oxide so at least in this randomized
clinical trial you did see an impact on nitric oxide
after taking citrulline so for those of you who are saying well citrulline
doesn’t actually impact nitric oxide now there’s again a lot of evidence in both
directions here but there’s clearly some evidence that it does now here’s the
next question listen so what let’s say you do get an
increase in nitric oxide levels does it actually improve athletic performance
well this same study looked at time trials on the bicycles a cycling time
trial and those who had citrulline finished far quicker so again some
fairly good evidence again as you look through the science it’s all over the
waterfront can you say reliably that it works well I think about it if you could
and if the evidence we’re overwhelming that it did I think you’d see a lot more
use for it do I think it works I think there’s guess there’s clearly
evidence that it has worked and it works in certain situations we just don’t
understand all the situations and I think this is a good example this is an
editorial in medical sports science and basically it’s talking about citrulline
and it makes the comment here that yes there’s good evidence that it’s worked
in athletics however not always in this editorial they’re talking about evidence
in the scientific literature that it works and helps for athletes that are
relatively untrained but doesn’t seem to help so much for athletes that are
well trained bottom line is I don’t think we know again as I said if you use
l-citrulline why don’t you tell us write in the comments below
what you use it for if you have some good references regarding science around
l-citrulline please share that with us thank you much

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