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  Last updated: 10/24/2015


Citrulline is an amino acid. Its name is derived from citrullus, the Latin word for watermelon, from which it was first isolated in 1914. It is a key intermediate in the urea cycle, the pathway by which mammals excrete ammonia. In man, citrulline is produced as a byproduct of the enzymatic production of nitric oxide from the amino acid arginine, an essential reaction as nitric oxide is a vasoldilator involved in regulating blood pressure.

It has been suggested (the evidence is weak - single study, second tier journal, no confirmatory studies) that watermelon may decrease post exercise muscle soreness and the active agent is L-citrulline. A second study on citrulline maleate (as a supplement) supported that finding in resistance exercise (weight lifters).

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