What is Citrulline
Chemical Name: (S)-2-amino-3-phenylpropanoic acid
Molecular Weight: 175.19
Structrual Formula: H2N-CONH-CH2-CH2-CH2-CHNH2-COOH
Nitrogen Content: 23.97%
Citrulline (13, 117)
- 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
- It influences the production of growth hormone, and is used for the detoxification of ammonia and in the treatment of fatigue
- L-Citrulline is a precursor to the formation of L-Arginine and thus plays a vital role in Arginine recycling, which is an important factor in nitric oxide release
- supports the body in optimizing blood flow through its conversion to L-arginine and then nitric oxide
- Nitric oxide is involved in vasodilatation and low levels are associated with mental and physical fatigue and sexual dysfunction
Citrulline and urea cycle (118,119)
- The amino acid citrulline is required to detoxify the liver from ammonia, which is a waste product of the body from oxidation
- Citrulline promotes energy and assists with the immune system. This unusual amino acid is formed in the urea cycle by the addition of carbon dioxide and ammonia to ornithine
- It is then combined with aspartic acid to form arginosuccinic acid, which later is metabolized into the amino acid arginine
- Citrulline is a precursor to arginine and is involved in the formation of urea in the liver
- The synthesis and elimination of urea is essential for removing toxic nitrogen metabolites from the body
- These metabolites build up from the digestion, absorption, and metabolism of protein
- Citrulline works along with aspartic acid, citric acid, and magnesium in helping to improve nitrogen metabolite excretion
Citrulline and Food
- Citrulline can be found in abundance in plant foods such as onion and garlic
Best used with Citrulline
- Zinc and vitamin B6 are useful for promoting the conversion of citrulline to arginine
Characteristic symptoms of elevated levels of citrulline (61)
- persistent vomiting
- ataxia (loss of muscle coordination)
- progressive mental retardation
- 13) Balch, James, MD, and Phyllis Balch, CNC, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Pub., 1997.
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- 118) Husson A, Brasse-Lagnel C, Fairand A, Renouf S, Lavoinne A. Argininosuccinate synthetase from the urea cycle to the citrulline-NO cycle. Eur J Biochem. 2003 May;270(9):1887-99.
- 61) Peter J. Garlick. The Nature of Human Hazards Associated with Excessive Intake of Amino Acids. J. Nutr. 2004 134: 1633-1639.
- 119) Moinard Chirtophe et al. Citrulline: A new Player in the Control of Nitrogen Homeostais. American Society for Nutrition J., Nutr. 137:1621S-1625S