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Posted: July 22, 2008

Yep, Watermelon May Help Overcome Impotence: Study

Can that juicy, cold slice of watermelon spice up your sex life? Researchers in Texas say yes, comparing ingredients in the popular summertime treat to the drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction and generally increase libido.


The research team, from Texas A&M University, said they found the ingredients that make up watermelon into a tasty, balloon-shaped fruit to also deliver Viagra-like effects to the body’s blood vessels.

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“The more we study watermelons, the more we realize just how amazing a fruit it is in providing natural enhancers to the human body,” said Dr. Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center in College Station.


“We’ve always known that watermelon is good for you, but the list of its very important healthful benefits grows longer with each study.”


Patil said the beneficial ingredients in watermelon and other fruits and vegetables are known as phyto-nutrients, which are naturally occurring compounds that react with the human body to trigger healthy reactions. This process is called bioactivity.


In watermelons, these phyto-nutrients include lycopene, beta carotene and the much-discussed citrulline, whose benefits are now being unraveled. Among these is the ability to relax blood vessels, much like Viagra and other erectile drugs do.


Scientists know that when watermelon is consumed, citrulline is converted to arginine through certain enzymes. Arginine is an amino acid that works wonders on the heart and circulation system and maintains a good immune system, Patil said.


“The citrulline-arginine relationship helps heart health and the immune system and may prove to be very helpful for those who suffer from obesity and type 2 diabetes,” said Patil. “Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it.”


While erectile dysfunction can stem from a number of psychological or physiological problems, extra nitric oxide could help those who need increased blood flow, which would also help treat angina, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.


“Watermelon may not be as organ-specific as Viagra,” Patil said, “but it’s a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side-effects.”

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