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Taking Arginine and Citrulline as a Combined Supplement

Arginine and citrulline are amino acids. Taken in combination as a supplement they can increase the production of nitric oxide within the body. Nitric oxide is an internal gas which facilitates vasodilation; a process in which the muscles of the blood vessels relax, thus widening them. This allows for the free flow of blood and oxygen around the body.

Studies are now suggesting that increased levels of nitric oxide can result in numerous gains for both general health, and to help manage specific medical conditions.

Arginine is classed as a semi-essential amino acid, meaning that a healthy adult body can produce its own supplies. It can also be obtained through the diet from nuts, whole grains, shellfish and lentils. Citrulline, when ingested is converted by the body into arginine. It is found only in limited quantities in watermelon, cantaloupe melon and cucumbers. Whilst it is possible to source these amino acids from the diet, it would be very difficult to raise levels sufficiently through diet alone. For this reason many people prefer to rely on supplementation.

To reap the full benefits it is advisable to take a supplement that combines both nutrients. Citrulline does more than simply play a supporting role by boosting overall quantities of amino acids. One study has illustrated it may have a 'slow time release' function. In other words, it continues to stimulate the production of amino acids, and by implication nitric oxide, over time. This prevents peaks and troughs in production, ensuring even levels of nitric oxide and optimum circulation at all times.

The health benefits of these supplements include general support for the cardiovascular system via improved circulation. Supplements may reduce the risk for heart disease, heart failure and clotting of the arteries. They help to maintain healthy blood pressure and prevent hypertension and strokes. Additionally it is claimed that supplementation can assist in managing the symptoms of angina, particularly in lessening the severity of chest pains.

Some athletes take a regular supplement of these amino acids to speed recovery times following intense exercise. In addition to the efficient cycling of nitrogen, it is also thought that arginine may have an anabolic function and plays a role in triggering the release of human growth hormones. This makes it a particularly attractive constituent of supplements taken by body builders. As yet, however, more research is required to establish whether this is the case.

It can also boost sexual performance and increase levels of pleasure for both men and women. Increased blood flow to the genitals is an essential element of pleasurable intercourse. Men have claimed that supplementation has helped them to maintain harder and longer-lasting erections. Both men and women have reported experiencing longer and more intense orgasms as a result of taking the supplement.

An additional benefit of taking these supplements is that they can assist in detoxifying the body. They work together to help eliminate ammonia from the liver. This highly toxic substance, itself a byproduct of protein metabolism, is removed from the body by the urea cycle. A chain of interactions between amino acids enables hazardous substances to be excreted safely in the urine.

At various points in the life cycle the body may fail to produce adequate quantities of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide production can be compromised by high levels of salt in the diet. Those suffering from atherosclerosis, diabetes and hypertension may also suffer from an impaired ability to produce nitric oxide. It is also thought we all produce less as a result of the general aging process.

Supplementation may benefit those who wish to keep their blood pressure under control or maintain good cardiovascular health. It is also appropriate for men suffering from erectile dysfunction and athletes looking to improve their recovery times. Due to insufficient data it is not know whether supplementation is safe for pregnant or lactating women. As a precaution they should not take these supplements.

The recommended dosages for these amino acids are dependent upon age and current medical condition. Supplements are available both separately and in combination. Before taking supplements people should always consult a suitably qualified health care practitioner. They should pay attention to safe dosage instructions and never exceed the recommended quantities. If people experience any adverse reactions they should cease taking supplements and seek medical advice.

Combined arginine and citrulline supplementation can deliver considerable health benefits. The importance of these two amino acids should not be overlooked by anyone wishing to maintain good general cardiovascular health. They may also have a crucial role in helping to overcome a number of specific disorders.





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