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    Talking Scientists: Watermelon yields Viagra-like effects

    Scientists: Watermelon yields Viagra-like effects
    By BETSY BLANEY, Associated Press Writer

    Thursday, July 3, 2008


    07-03) 04:45 PDT Lubbock, Texas (AP) --

    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 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.

    The nitric oxide can also help with angina, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems, according to the study, which was paid for by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    More citrulline about 60 percent is found in watermelon rind than in the flesh, Patil said, but that can vary. But scientists may be able to find ways to boost the concentrations in the flesh, he said.

    Citrulline is found in all colors of watermelon and is highest in the yellow-fleshed types, said Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a USDA researcher in Lane, Okla.

    She said Patil's research is valid, but with a caveat: One would need to eat about six cups of watermelon to get enough citrulline to boost the body's arginine level.

    "The problem you have when you eat a lot of watermelon is you tend to run to the bathroom more," Perkins-Veazie said.

    Watermelon is a diuretic and was a homeopathic treatment for kidney patients before dialysis became widespread.

    Another issue is the amount of sugar that much watermelon would spill into the bloodstream a jolt that could cause cramping, Perkins-Veazie said.

    Patil said he would like to do future studies on how to reduce the sugar content in watermelon.

    The relationship between citrulline and arginine might also prove helpful to those who are obese or suffer from type-2 diabetes. The beneficial effects among them the ability to relax blood vessels, much like Viagra does are beginning to be revealed in research.

    Citrulline is present in other curcubits, like cucumbers and cantaloupe, at very low levels, and in the milk protein casein. The highest concentrations of citrulline are found in walnut seedlings, Perkins-Veazie said.

    "But they're bitter and most people don't want to eat them," she said.

    ---------------------

    Hmm, I wonder how many recipes I have that I could incorporate watermelon into......
    Last edited by superchef; 07-03-2008 at 04:20 PM.

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    , that story has been reported in at least 4 different news sources: NBC4, Victoria Times Colonist, SF Gate and the Toronto Sun. heheeheee. Been eating a fair amount of watermelon this past few days........
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    I saw this on Fox News this morning. I'm wondering what kind of effects it'd have if I fed my wife a bunch of it. I may have to make a watermelon run!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    I may have to make a watermelon run!
    I never dreamed of hearing that, haha. A safer alternative, no doubt.

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    Harve was last seen in the produce department.........



    Guess I should buy stock in produce...
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    And here's me thinking that watermelon contained nothing more beneficial than water!

    Watermelon, cantaloupe, milk. I like all three of those. Hmmm, melon smoothies time!
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    Quote Originally Posted by superchef View Post
    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

    Watermelon is a diuretic and was a homeopathic treatment for kidney patients before dialysis became widespread.

    Another issue is the amount of sugar that much watermelon would spill into the bloodstream a jolt that could cause cramping, Perkins-Veazie said.
    Wow, that sounds like a good evening right there... Wood at one end, the runs out the other..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    Harve was last seen in the produce department.........

    Aw dammit Dickey! You beat me to it.



    I guess next time Harve plans a night out with the Mrs. he'll be buying a watermelon at the grocery store to....um.....get ready.

    Besides, watermelon is cheaper than Viagra, and you don't need a prescription for it. My watermelon plants in my garden are growing nicely.......Hey Harve, can I borrow your Barry White CD?
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    Before you all get carried away slurping your watermelon smoothies, maybe you should know that it was the rind of the melon that held the highest concentrations. Pickled watermelon rinds are popular, but beware of eating too many. It might possibly act more like a laxitive.

    On a side note, we have a fellow in our Bass Club who is in his 80s. He fishes all day long, even on the 90-100 degree days, starting at daylight and going, sometimes, until 4p.m. He usually will have pieces of watermelon in a bowl, chilled in his cooler. During the hot summer, the watermelon helps with hydration, and the natural sugars help with energy during the day. Not a bad idea..
    Last edited by rhvfd1214; 07-05-2008 at 10:20 AM.
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    I thought you were supposed to cut a hole in the watermelon and heat it up in the microwave.........
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    I thought you were supposed to cut a hole in the watermelon and heat it up in the microwave.........
    No I think what they are saying is you are sopposed to put vodka in it.

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    This is of no use to me.

    I mean, I've got an uncut watermelon in the fridge as I type this, but unless a fine-a** woman pops out of it when I start slicing, 'citrulline' will just be a cruel joke.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GodSendRain View Post
    This is of no use to me.

    I mean, I've got an uncut watermelon in the fridge as I type this, but unless a fine-a** woman pops out of it when I start slicing, 'citrulline' will just be a cruel joke.
    Can I have your watermelon then? Mrs. Sharkie and I have the day off........If you can't put it to good use, I might as well right? Saves me $6 on the watermelon too.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

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