Why watermelon lowers blood pressure and works like Viagra

Health Science and Practical Remedies

Citrulline is found in higher concentrations in watermelon rind than the edible flesh part. No many people eat watermelon rind since it is tougher, not sweet and full of pesticides, dirt, and even salmonella from laying in the ground. But some people do eat watermelon rind as vegetable after washing. Watermelon is a certified heart healthy food by the American Heart Association
  1. Unique amino acid citrulline in watermelon is changed into arginine by enzymes
  2. Arginine helps the body produce more nitric oxide
  3. Nitric oxide helps blood vessels relax so that blood pressure is lowered
  4. High potassium content in watermelon may also play a role in lowering blood pressure
  5. Nitic oxide relaxing blood vessels is similar to the effect of Viagra
  6. So watermelon like Viagra can treat or prevent erectile dysfunction
Recent human clinical trials:
  • Watermelon supplementation reduces arterial stiffness and aortic systolic blood pressure by reducing pressure wave reflection amplitude in obese postmenopausal women with hypertension.
  • Watermelon reduces ankle blood pressure and carotid augmentation index in obese adults with prehypertension or hypertension.
  • Another pilot study shows that watermelon supplementation improves aortic hemodynamics through a decrease in the amplitude of the reflected wave in individuals with prehypertension.
Biological activities of watermelon:
  • Antihypertensive; Helps fight heart disease; Relaxing blood vessels
  • Alkaline-forming in body strongly; Diuretic mildly
  • Antioxidant; Helps strengthen immunity
  • Helps converting protein to energy
  • Helps fight prostate cancer
  • Helps muscle and nerve function; Helps brain function
  • Helps maintain the body's proper electrolyte and acid-base balance
  • Helps fight obesity and type 2 diabetes by boosting nitric oxide
  • Heals wounds; Prevents cell damage
  • Promotes healthy teeth and gums
  • Sources of vitamin C, potassium and lycopene
  • Eases inflammation of asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer and arthritis
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is a vine-like plant belonging to the family of Cucurbitaceae, native to southern Africa and now cultivated as fruit/vegetables worldwide.

Citrulline (L-form; CAS: 372-75-8) occurs in Citrullus vulgaris, the green alga Enteromorpha intestinalis and the red alga Grateloupia filicina. Widely distributed in the Cucurbitaceae and various other plants. It is a diuretic agent and used as arginine substitute in the treatment of inborn errors of urea synthesis, carbamyl phosphate synthetase and ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency.

Watermelon, raw,               Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
  • Energy                                             127 kJ (30 kcal)
  • Carbohydrates                                       7.55 g
  • Sugars                                                    6.2 g
  • Dietary fiber                                           0.4 g
  • Fat                                                          0.15 g
  • Protein                                                    0.61 g
  • Water                                                    91.45 g
  • Vitamin A equivalent                          28 μg (4%)
  • beta-carotene                                      303 μg (3%)
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1)                        0.033 mg (3%)
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2)                      0.021 mg (2%)
  • Niacin (vitamin B3)                           0.178 mg (1%)
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)            0.221 mg (4%)
  • Vitamin B6                                        0.045 mg (3%)
  • Choline                                               4.1 mg (1%)
  • Vitamin C                                           8.1 mg (10%)
  • Calcium                                               7 mg (1%)
  • Iron                                                    0.24 mg (2%)
  • Magnesium                                          10 mg (3%)
  • Manganese                                         0.038 mg (2%)
  • Phosphorus                                          11 mg (2%)
  • Potassium                                            112 mg (2%)
  • Sodium                                                  1 mg (0%)
  • Zinc                                                     0.1 mg (1%)
  • Lycopene                                            4532 µg      (USDA Database)
Menopause. 2013, May; 20(5):573-7
Am J Hypertens., 2011, Jan; 24(1):40-4
Am J Hypertens. 2012, Jun; 25(6):640-3

Dr. Jeff Zhao (赵吉福), a natural product scientist, has been studying active ingredients, new drugs, cosmetics and  nutritional supplements for over 35 years.

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