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Watermelon: New Weapon Against High Blood Pressure

by Sheela Philomena on April 13, 2013 at 10:10 AM
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 Watermelon: New Weapon Against High Blood Pressure

Consumption of watermelons was found to lower blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, states recent study.

Food scientists at Florida State University found that consumption of six grams of L-citrulline from watermelon extract for six weeks normalized the blood pressure of all nine adults in the study who previously had elevated blood pressure, The News reported.

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Dr. Arturo Figueroa, lead researcher of the new study, claimed that they are the first to document improved aortic hemodynamics in pre-hypertensive but otherwise healthy middle-aged men and women receiving therapeutic doses of watermelon.

These findings suggest that this 'functional food' has a vasodilatory effect, and one that may prevent prehypertension from progressing to full-blown hypertension, added Figueroa.
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The large watermelon fruit is the richest edible source of the amino acid L-citrulline, which regulates healthy blood pressure. L-citrulline is converted to another amino acid, L-arginine, once in the body.

However, taking L-arginine as a dietary supplement can cause nausea, gastrointestinal problems and diarrhea, especially among adults who already suffer from raised blood pressure.

Figueroa suggested that people with increased blood pressure and arterial stiffness - especially those who are older and those with chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes - would benefit from L-citrulline in either the synthetic or natural (watermelon) form.

The study has just been published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

Source: ANI
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