Watermelon ‘has similar effects to Viagra’

LAHORE: Eating watermelon can boost a man’s libido in the same way as taking Viagra does, scientists at the Texas A&M University in the United States said in a report published in The Daily Telegraph on Thursday.

Experts claim that the fruit contains an ingredient that could be used to help men who suffer from erectile dysfunction.

Watermelons are loaded with an organic compound called citrulline that can trigger blood vessels to relax, much like Viagra does. Dr Bhimu Patel, who led the study, said that when watermelon is consumed, citrulline is converted to an amino acid called arginine, which improves circulation.

Patel, who is director of the university’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Centre, said, “The more we study watermelons, the more we realise just how amazing a fruit it is in providing natural enhancers to the body. We’ve always known that watermelon is good for you, but the list grows longer with each study. Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction.”

He added that eating watermelon could also improve heart health, the immune system and even help people who suffer from obesity and type-2 diabetes. Ingredients in watermelon are known as phyto-nutrients that are able to react with human body to trigger healthy reactions. While there are many psychological and physiological problems causing impotence, extra nitric oxide could help increase blood flow.

Citrulline is found in higher concentrations in the rind of watermelons than the flesh. Because the rind is not commonly eaten, Patil’s team is working to breed varieties with higher concentrations in the flesh. daily times monito, 4/7/2008

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