A new study found that eating watermelon can lower your blood pressure, but that's not news to me — or to you either, if you're a regular reader of my health alerts and newsletters articles. I've been telling you for years that two amino acids, L-citrulline and L-arginine, reduce high blood pressure. This study further demonstrates their positive effects.
The study was conducted by Florida State University Associate Professor Arturo Figueroa and published in the American Journal of Hypertension. Figueroa focused on blood pressure in overweight individuals both when they were at rest and under stress and found that watermelon had a positive effect.
Cold weather can be dangerous to people with high blood pressure as it causes blood pressure to increase even more. With this increase, it's harder for the heart to pump blood into the aorta, and as a result, less blood flows to the heart. When an individual is obese, this combination can be ever more deadly. But watermelon can help.
In the 12-weeky study, Figueroa and his team examined 13 middle-aged obese men and women with high blood pressure. The participants dipped a hand in 39 degree water while the research team took blood pressure and other measurements. Then one group received four grams of L-citrulline and two grams of L-arginine from watermelon extract every day for six weeks. The other group received a placebo. The participants were all instructed not to take any blood pressure medication or make any significant lifestyle changes for the duration of the study.
The participants who received the watermelon extract show improvement in aortic blood pressure and other vascular parameters, both at rest and when their hand was placed in the cold water. This is significant, Figueroa explains, because "that means less overload to the heart, so the heart is going to work easily during a stressful situation such as cold exposure."
This time of year, you can enjoy lots of watermelon. But you don't have to eat massive quantities of watermelon every day to reap the benefits of these amino acids. You can take L-citrulline and L-arginine supplements. However, these don't always lower the blood pressure for many people over 40. To get the benefits of watermelon without its high sugar contact, I also recommend you try taking Circutol for a few months to help keep your blood pressure down and your heart healthy. It's naturally high in these amino acids.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
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A. Figueroa, A. Wong, R. Kalfon. Effects of Watermelon Supplementation on Aortic Hemodynamic Responses to the Cold Pressor Test in Obese Hypertensive Adults. American Journal of Hypertension, 2014; DOI: 10.1093/ajh/hpt295.