L-arginine and L-citrulline are amino acids. Citrulline is a precursor to the synthesis of arginine. According to Mayo Clinic, the body changes arginine into nitric oxide, which helps blood vessels dilate, thus reducing blood pressure. By taking arginine and citrulline supplements, it may be possible for some people to lower their blood pressure. If you have hypertension, ask your healthcare provider if these two amino acids are appropriate for your condition.
Take 2 to 3 g of L-arginine, three times a day, suggests Mayo Clinic. There is not a standard recommended dose of this supplement, so check with your doctor to make sure this is an appropriate dosage. Nausea is a side effect that may occur; take this supplement with a meal or small snack to alleviate this.
Consume 3 g of L-citrulline twice a day. A 2009 study by A Figueroa, et al., published in the "American Journal of Hypertension," found that this dose of L-citrulline helped reduce blood pressure during a cold pressor test. L-citrulline is converted to L-arginine by the body, and lowers blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide production in the body.
Incorporate more foods rich in L-arginine and L-citrulline into your diet. Sources of arginine include walnuts, pecans, brown rice, raisins, coconut, chicken, chocolate, corn and meat. Citrulline food sources include meat, fish, eggs and legumes.
Maintain a healthy weight and participate in regular physical activity; both of these help lower high blood pressure and keep you healthy.
Minimize the amount of alcohol you drink and reduce your sodium intake to better manage your blood pressure as well.
Talk to your healthcare provider about L-arginine and L-citrulline before using these supplements. These may not be appropriate for everyone and may interact with medications or supplements you are taking, so it is best to ask your physician about any adverse interactions.
If you are pregnant and have high blood pressure, do not take L-arginine or L-citrulline without the supervision of your obstetrician.
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- Mayo Clinic: Arginine: Dosing
- "American Journal of Hypertension"; Oral L-Citrulline Supplementation Attenuates Blood Pressure Response to Cold Pressor Test in Young Men; A Figueroa, et al.; 2009
- HealthVitaminsGuide: Citrulline Information
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Hypertension; Dr. Steven Ehrlich; 2009
- Mayo Clinic: Arginine