The amino acid L-citrulline plays a vital role on the production of nitric oxide. Some would say that it’s even more important then L-arginine for the creation of this Miracle Molecule.
It’s with this in mind that we produced a new video titled “The Truth About L-Citrulline!” This video is part of The Million Lives Project, which is helping a million people or more understand how they could effectively use Nitric Oxide Therapy to significantly improve their health while reducing their risk for cardiovascular health concerns like high blood pressure, diabetes, sexual and cognitive function issues, and poor wound healing.
Cliff Notes Version of The Truth About L-Citrulline
The purpose of this video is to help you understand how the amino acid L-citrulline can enhance nitric oxide therapy for improve blood flow.
To help you better understand this information let’s first understand the benefits of nitric oxide and the two primary pathways for the creation of this molecule.
Nitric Oxide is used by your nervous system for nerve conduction.
Nitric Oxide is used by your immune system to destroy bacteria and viruses.
Nitric Oxide is used by your cardiovascular system to improve blood flow.
Basically, nitric oxide acts as a signaling molecule to cause something else to occur. And without nitric oxide that next step can’t take place.
Which brings us to the two main pathways for the creation of nitric oxide.
The endothelial pathway which uses L-arginine for the creation of nitric oxide.
The nitrate / nitrite pathway for the creation of nitric oxide.
Both pathways are valid for the production of nitric oxide. But both pathways are short-lived. Meaning that the creation of nitric oxide is highest in the first two hours but quickly returns to base line levels in the bloodstream. Thus the results are temporary and not long lasting.
And this is where the amino acid L-citrulline comes in.
L-citrulline is metabolized to yield more l-arginine to continue the ability of the enzymes of the endothelium to produce higher amounts of nitric oxide over a longer period of time.
It’s important to note that L-citrulline is converted to L-arginine and then uses the endothelial pathway for the creation of nitric oxide.
It’s important to understand this because some manufacturers, who use the nitrate / nitrite pathway for the creation of nitric oxide, like to discount the benefits of the endothelial pathway for the creation of this Miracle Molecule.
Companies like Neo40 use the nitrate / nitrite pathway for the creation of nitric oxide. And they make statements suggesting that the L-arginine pathway is ineffective especially if you’re over the age of 40 because of endothelial dysfunction.
In my YouTube video titled “The Truth About L-Arginine”, I had the following statement from the NeoGenis website, which manufactures Neo40.
“But if you’re over 40 and use l-arginine supplements to increase your N-O levels, you may be wasting your money. The conversion of l-arginine to N-O in the body is extremely complex, and the l-arginine pathway becomes less effective as you get older.”
For this new video on The Truth About L-Citrulline I went back to the NeoGenis website and here is their current statement:
“What makes Neo40 different than other products on the market, including L-Arginine supplements, is that our patented formula represents a breakthrough in N-O delivery. In fact, studies suggest that if you’re over 40 or have compromised endothelial function, L-Arginine is unlikely to work for you.”
In their Proprietary Blend they list L-citrulline as part of their formulation. In your body L-citrulline is converted to L-arginine and then goes down this same pathway for the creation of nitric oxide that they’re telling you is dysfunctional.
Outside of being a bit misleading, the question is why would they need to use L-citrulline in their product?
The answer is to extend the ability of their product to create nitric oxide since the nitrate / nitrite pathway is short lived. Just as the L-arginine pathway by itself is short-lived.
This means that if you want to harness the benefits of nitric oxide therapy to improve your cardiovascular health and athletic performance, then you need to consume L-citrulline in addition to any other nutritional ingredients that can boost nitric oxide production.
As Nobel Laureate Dr. Louis, J. Ingarro notes in the introduction to his book NO More Heart Disease:
“It is the synergy between the L-arginine (in a large enough dose), the L-citrulline, and the key antioxidants that creates dramatic increases in your body’s nitric oxide production. Without the proper combination of these nutrients, which so many other programs lack, you will receive little to no benefit from NO therapy.”
L-Citrulline Fuels Two Metabolic Pathways
First, it’s used in the Urea Acid Cycle to transform ammonia waste products into urea to be eliminated from your body.
This is needed if you’re using the nitrate / nitrite pathway for the creation of nitric oxide. As you can see ammonia is a waste product in this cycle.
Ammonia is toxic to your system so your body is continuously working to rid itself of ammonia. L-arginine, or the conversion of L-citrulline to L-arginine, is used to convert this toxin to urea.
For some L-arginine can upset their stomachs. For others higher amounts of L-arginine, usually in doses of 10 grams or more, can cause loose stools or diarrhea.
L-citrulline does not have this side-effect.
For those who do not tolerate L-arginine in supplemental form, then a good rule of thumb would be to take 1,000 mg of L-citrulline, three times a day for a total daily dose of 3,000 mg.
Some manufacturers of L-citrulline supplements will claim that citrulline malate is a better form for consumption, than just L-citrulline. They base this on the malate molecule boosting the absorption of this amino acid.
Two items to keep in mind.
If you’re going to use L-citrulline, then make sure it’s pharmaceutical grade not food grade. Most companies use food grade ingredients, which have a wide variance in purity and potency.
Pharmaceutical grade will always have the highest purity and potency for maximum absorption.
Because of the size of the malate molecule, you will need to consume 1.76 g of L-citrulline malate to equal 1 gram or 1000 mg of L-citrulline.
This means that 1 gram of L-citrulline malate provides you with significantly less of the needed amino acid for the creation of nitric oxide.
When it comes to harnessing the power of nitric oxide therapy to improve circulation and athletic performance there are two primary pathways.
Both are valid but both need l-citrulline to help you increase your nitric oxide production over an extended period of time. This extended period of time is critical in helping your endothelium stay a healthy and functional tissue that can lowering your risk for cardiovascular concerns.