In any given year, it is estimated that 30 percent to 40 percent of people experience a lack of interest in sex for at least a few months. The causes can be from a variety of situations, ranging from stress or emotional problems to physical problems that include low testosterone and erectile dysfunction (ED).
Many people do not seek help for these problems, which can lead to relationship troubles and even more stress, a further detriment to a healthy sex life. Not having a satisfying sex life can affect the overall quality of life, and it can influence other aspects of health as well. Ignoring even minor issues with ED is a bad idea, because what seems like an annoying or embarrassing problem can actually be a symptom of a larger health issue. It can even be one of the early signs of heart trouble. Often, though, there are simple lifestyle changes that can improve libido and erectile function, making these problems a small obstacle in the road.
One of the natural ways to manage declining libido or minor cases of ED is with supplements. One natural remedy is to take an amino acid called L-citrulline. Found in some of the best foods for erectile dysfunction (like watermelon), L-citrulline is a natural way to help manage sexual health without having to take medications or replace hormones.
How does it work?
L-citrulline is an amino acid that provides many benefits for men’s health. L-citrulline health benefits include boosting sexual health and helping with other conditions such as high blood pressure and fatigue. It can also help a man with declining testosterone levels.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone that helps improve libido and plays a role in a man’s energy, erectile function, mood and even weight. As men age, testosterone slowly declines. When men approach and get older than 50, they may start to notice these changes: decreased energy, an expanding waistline, sexual symptoms of decreased libido and more frequent erectile troubles. L-citrulline can help improve these problems. Once it is consumed, the body converts it to another amino acid called arginine. Arginine has been shown in studies to promote higher testosterone levels without causing the negative side effects that many men experience with testosterone replacement therapy.
Another way arginine helps with ED is in nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide is a chemical important to heart and blood vessel health. Nitric oxide helps arteries relax and work better. This can lower blood pressure and also has an impact on a man’s sexual function. Good blood flow is important for achieving and maintaining an erection, helping with mild to moderate cases of ED. It also relaxes smooth muscles in the penis that facilitate the development of an erection. Increasing nitric oxide is how ED drugs such as Viagra work. L-citrulline and arginine provide this service in a more natural option than taking a prescription pill. This is good news for men who are looking for a safer alternative for ED due to the dangers of erectile dysfunction drugs.
Arginine has other benefits for men as well. It works well for heart health and helps maintain a healthy immune system. Arginine removes toxicities like ammonia from the body and helps keep obesity and type 2 diabetes from becoming issues.
There are some studies on managing ED with L-citrulline. In one single-blind study, 24 men with a mean age of 56.5 years received a placebo for one month followed by 1.5 grams of citrulline per day for one month. During the placebo phase, only two of the 24 men reported an improvement in erection hardness score from 3 (mild erectile dysfunction) to 4 (normal erectile function). In contrast, half of the men reported similar improvement when taking citrulline, with no adverse effects noted. All the men who reported an improvement in their erectile function said they were very satisfied with the results. The study’s authors concluded that at least in the short term, supplementation with citrulline is safe and well accepted by patients. (Cormio 2011)
Taking L-citrulline supplements
Many men who take L-citrulline choose this natural amino acid because there are no side effects associated with taking it. Even though it occurs naturally in foods like watermelon, cantaloupe and cucumbers, men can also easily take it every day in supplement form. The daily supplement formulation EveryDay Male is one option that contains both L-citrulline and L-arginine. EveryDay Male also contains other natural ingredients that are beneficial to men looking for a natural way promote natural testosterone levels and to make a difference their sexual health.
In addition to taking an L-citrulline supplement, it is important to consider lifestyle habits. Manage your stress levels so that they do not have a negative impact on libido and erectile function. Get plenty of sleep, and be sure to get more exercise, too. Sleep is a stress-reducer that is also a great natural testosterone-booster. It is important to keep in mind that whatever measures are good for your heart are also good for preventing ED.
If you start to see problems in your sexual health, do not be afraid to talk to your doctor. There could be an easy solution to the problem. If there is a larger problem looming on the horizon, you are going to have an easier time dealing with it if you take action sooner rather than later.
Cormio L et al. Oral L-citrulline supplementation improves erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction. Urology 2011 Jan; 77(1): 119-22