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Watermelon: A Natural Viagra

Men hoping for some fireworks in their love life this Fourth of July may want to skip the burgers and beer at the barbecue and eat plenty of watermelon.

Watermelon may be a natural Viagra, says a researcher. That’s because the popular summer fruit is richer than experts believed in an amino acid called citrulline, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels much like Viagra and other drugs meant to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).

“We have known that watermelon has citrulline,” says Bhimu Patil, PHD, director of the Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center at Texas A&M University, College Station. Until recently, he tells WebMD, scientists thought most of the citrulline was in the watermelon rind. “Watermelon has more citrulline in the edible part than previously believed,” he says.

How could watermelon be a natural Viagra? The amino acid citrulline is converted into the amino acid arginine, Patil says. “This is a precursor for nitric oxide, and the nitric oxide will help in blood vessel dilation.”

So, the burning question: How much watermelon does it take?

“That is a good question,” Patil says. Unfortunately, “I don’t have an answer for that.”

He does know that a typical 4-ounce serving of watermelon (about 10 watermelon balls) has about 150 milligrams of citrulline. But he can’t say how much citrulline is needed to have Viagra-like effects.

He’s hopeful that someone will pick up on his research and study the fruit’s effect on penile erections.
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