Citrulline is a nonessential amino acid, which means that it is manufactured from other amino acids in the liver; it does not have to be obtained directly through the diet. Citrulline is found in high concentration in the liver. Citrulline is not a component of any major proteins or enzymes. It is synthesized in the body from ornithine by the addition of CO2 and ammonia and is a precursor of arginine. Only the L form of amino acids are constituents of protein.
Citrulline exists primarily in the liver, where it is heavily involved in the urea cycle to detoxify and excrete ammonia. This unusual amino acid is formed in the urea cycle by the addition of carbon dioxide and ammonia to ornithine. Next, it is combined with aspartic acid to form arginosuccinic acid, which later is metabolized into the amino acid arginine. Citrulline is not a component of any major proteins or enzymes. This unusual amino acid is formed in the urea cycle by the addition of carbon dioxide and ammonia to ornithine. Next, it is combined with aspartic acid to form arginosuccinic acid, which later is metabolized into the amino acid arginine. Citrulline is not a component of any major proteins or enzymes.
Function and Benefits of Citrulline
- Promotes energy
- Stimulates the Immune system
- Metabolized to form L-Arginine
- Detoxifies ammonia
- Citrulline helps the immune system in fighting infections and increases energy.
- Citrulline, through its conversion into another amino acid (arginine) in our body optimizes blood flow. Arginine allows for increased production of nitric acid in the endothelium, to support circulatory function.
- Without citrulline it is not possible to detoxify liver cells from ammonia, which is a waste product of oxidation process.
- It helps maintain the acid-base balance in the body.
- It plays an important role in the production of arginine, which stimulates the secretion of human growth hormone and prolactin. Arginine helps in bodybuilding, in enhancing blood flow and in relieving stress.
- Citrulline promotes the production of insulin, creatine and the growth hormone.
- Watermelon, especially the melon rind is an excellent source of citrulline. Vegetables like pumpkins, cucumbers, gourds and squashes are also good sources of citrulline.
- Besides vegetables, fruits such as cantaloupes, honeydews, bittermelons and muskmelons also contain citrulline in substantial amounts.
- Walnut seedlings are considered to be the richest source of citrulline.
- Citrulline is also abundantly found in fish, meat, eggs, milk, and legumes.
- Foods rich in protein, also contain high amount of citrulline.
- Arginine : This non-essential amino acid is required in muscle metabolism – maintaining the nitrogen balance, and helping with weight control since it facilitates the increase of muscle mass, while reducing body fat. (blissreturned.wordpress.com)
- Aspartic acid : The amino acid that increases stamina, good for fatigue and depression, and plays a vital role in metabolism. (blissreturned.wordpress.com)
- Ornithine: The amino acid that helps to prompt the release of growth hormone, which promotes the metabolism of excess body fat. (inspired-weightloss.com)