How Watermelon Can Reduce Cardiovascular Diseases
Cardiovascular diseases are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels which include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease and deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Thus, this is a disease which affects primarily our cardiovascular system. According to World Health Organization estimates, 17 million people around the world die of cardiovascular disease each year. In 1998, there were 7.3 million deaths from heart attack and 5.1 million still suffered stroke. Another 15 million suffer mild stroke. In 1999, cardiovascular diseases contributed to one-third of global deaths.
The Role of Watermelon in Reducing Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
According to the research made by the Food Scientists in The Florida State University, taking L-citrulline extracts from watermelon in the diet for six weeks could result to reduced blood pressure and aortic wave reflection in middle aged individuals with pre-hypertension. This group of researchers led by Dr. Arturo Figueroa said that they have documented improved aortic hemodynamic in pre-hypertensive with the controlled dosage of watermelon extracts. The findings suggest that watermelon has a vasodilatory effect which connotes that it can prevent pre-hypertension from developing into a full blown hypertension, a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
The Significance of L- citrulline
Traditionally, L-arginine is used to treat hypertension as it widens blood vessel, easing the flow of blood. However, this is not recommended for many people as it can lead to nausea, gut discomfort and diarrhea. L-Citrulline is the nearest compound that is related to L-arginine. Once a dose of L-citrulline is ingested, it is converted into L-arginine without the discomforts of taking in L-arginine directly.
The study produced evidence showing L-citrulline, from the consumption of watermelon, reducing peripheral blood pressure and improves nitric oxide dependent vasodilatation in hypertensive and diabetic rats. L-arginine, as a synthesis of L-citruline, also decreases blood pressure through improved endothelial nitric oxide production.