How to Use L Arginine & L Citrulline for High Blood Pressure
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.
Arginine & Niacin
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.
Arginine & Niacin
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Effective Dosages of L-Arginine & L-Citrulline
- 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
- Johnson, S. L-Citrulline. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee Meeting 2017, November 20.
- Pérez-guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(5):1215-22. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cb28e0
- Allerton TD, Proctor DN, Stephens JM, Dugas TR, Spielmann G, Irving BA. L-citrulline supplementation: Impact on cardiometabolic health. Nutrients. 2018;10(7) doi:10.3390/nu10070921
- Cormio L, De siati M, Lorusso F, et al. Oral L-citrulline supplementation improves erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction. Urology. 2011;77(1):119-22. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2010.08.028
- Waugh WH, Daeschner CW, Files BA, Mcconnell ME, Strandjord SE. Oral citrulline as arginine precursor may be beneficial in sickle cell disease: early phase two results. J Natl Med Assoc. 2001;93(10):363-71.
- Moinard C, Nicolis I, Neveux N, Darquy S, Bénazeth S, Cynober L. Dose-ranging effects of citrulline administration on plasma amino acids and hormonal patterns in healthy subjects: the Citrudose pharmacokinetic study. Br J Nutr. 2008;99(4):855-62. doi:10.1017/S0007114507841110
- Hartman, J. Wehner, T, et al. Citrulline and arginine content of taxa of Cucurbitaceae. Journal of Horticulturae. 2012; vol:5 Iss.1. doi:10.3390/horticulturae5010022
- Eleutério RMN, Nascimento FO, Araújo TG, et al. Double-blind clinical trial of arginine supplementation in the treatment of adult patients with sickle cell anaemia. Adv Hematol. 2019;2019:4397150. doi:10.1155/2019/4397150
Jaime Herndon has been writing for health websites since 2009 and has guest-blogged on SheKnows. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and women's studies, she earned a Master of Science in clinical health psychology and a Master of Public Health in maternal-child health. Her interests include oncology, women's health and exercise science.