Citrulline supplied by the diet is efficiently absorbed from the stomach and enters the blood via the major vein draining the digestive system that empties into the liver. Much of it bypasses uptake in the liver and is then circulated for distribution to the kidneys, brain, muscle and other tissues for conversion to arginine.
Sources of citrulline
Rich sources of citrulline are meat, fish, eggs, milk, legumes and other foods which are rich in proteins.
Benefits of citrulline
- 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.
- It helps in the production of energy and thus prevents the muscles from fatigue.
- It also plays an essential role in maintaining the acid base balance in the body.
Deficiency symptoms of citrulline
Deficiency of citrulline may result in fatigue and weakness of the muscles.
Daily requirement is given in the Recommended Daily Allowance, but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward off serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.