The ‘Hard Data’ on Watermelon

Scientists: Watermelon Yields Viagra-like Effects

The Associated Press
Thursday, July 3, 2008; 5:48 PM
LUBBOCK, Texas — A slice of cool, fresh watermelon is a juicy way to top off a Fourth of July cookout and one that researchers say has effects similar to Viagra _ but don’t necessarily expect it to keep the fireworks going all night long.
Watermelons contain an ingredient called citrulline that can trigger production of a compound that helps relax the body’s blood vessels, similar to what happens when a man takes Viagra, said scientists in Texas, one of the nation’s top producers of the seedless variety.
Found in the flesh and rind of watermelons, citrulline reacts with the body’s enzymes when consumed in large quantities and is changed into arginine, an amino acid that benefits the heart and the circulatory and immune systems.
“Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it,” said Bhimu Patil, a researcher and director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center. “Watermelon may not be as organ-specific as Viagra, but it’s a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side effects.”
Todd Wehner, who studies watermelon breeding at North Carolina State University, said anyone taking Viagra shouldn’t expect the same result from watermelon.
“It sounds like it would be an effect that would be interesting but not a substitute for any medical treatment,” Wehner said.
In the back-wash of scientific ‘evidence’ of trans-fats, food colorings, various and sundry additives and studies that claim–and next year disclaim–health benefits, it’s great to find that a watermelon a day keeps erectile dysfunction away.
I can’t wait for the new batches of spam e-mails.

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