Supplemental Citrulline Better Than Arginine for Older People

Citrulline is an amino acid that is converted to arginine, which increases levels of nitric oxide— an important chemical that regulates blood flow throughout the body. Nitric oxide is an important marker of metabolic health and is essential for well-being. Citrulline supplements can reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension, and can increase blood flow to the penis in men with mild-to-moderate erectile dysfunction— although it doesn’t work as well as Viagra. It might also prevent muscle loss during aging — a condition called sarcopenia. A study of older adults by researchers from the University of Paris Descartes in France found that citrulline supplements increased blood arginine levels better than arginine supplements. Citrulline supplements are safe and well tolerated, and are effective for boosting arginine and nitric oxide production in older adults. (British Journal of Nutrition, published online December 1, 2015)

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