Watermelons are rich in L-Arginine and its metabolic product, L-Citrulline. A research team under Dr Arturo Figuero has proven in an investigation that the consumption of a watermelon extract, corresponding to 6,000 mg a day of a mixture of L-Arginine and its metabolic product L-Citrulline, can reduce blood pressure on average by 15 mm Hg (millimetres of mercury) systolic and 12 mm Hg diastolic.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is defined as a condition where the blood pressure is more than 140 mm Hg systolic and 90 mm Hg diastolic. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart and circulatory conditions. Heart and circulatory conditions are responsible for almost half of all deaths in industrialised countries and lead to annual healthcare costs in Europe alone of an estimated 170 billion euro.
L-Arginin and L-Citrulline Reduce High Blood Pressure
Researchers have conducted a placebo-controlled study on 14 patients with a moderate blood pressure and an average age of 58, and have published their findings in the American Journal of Hypertension, the eminent professional journal concerning high blood pressure related illnesses. Two weeks were left between the two sessions, to ensure that the effects were easy to differentiate.
“A blood pressure of over 175 mm systolic leads to the beginnings of damage to the arterial vessels, especially among those who are overweight. People with high blood pressure suffer from heart and circulatory conditions twice as frequently as those with normal blood pressure. It is therefore necessary to combat high blood pressure as early as possible,” said Dr. Arturo Figuero.
The study underlines what other investigations into the amino acid L-Arginine have already shown: L-Arginine encourages vascular health and is therefore beneficial in cases of diseases of civilisation, with high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and erectile dysfunction among men leading the way, as well as in cases of diabetes.
Study: A. Figueroa, M.A. Sanchez-Gonzalez, A. Wong, B.H.Arjmandi; “Watermelon Extract reduces Ankle Blood Pressure and Carotid Augmentation Index in Obese Adults With Prehypertension or Hypertension”; American Journal oh Hypertension; Vol 26,6; p. 640-643, 2012/20