Can Watermelon Actually Treat Erectile Dysfunction?

Can Watermelon Actually Treat Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a disorder commonly prevailing in our society. Men have been experimenting for long in order to find the perfect remedies to treat it and have received mixed results. The research regarding this issue is in the preliminary stages, some scientific studies have indicated that watermelon may be a good substitute for Viagra in this case.

Viagra and other related medications are particularly prescribed for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Its discovery has revolutionized the world of sexual medications. Due to this wonder drug, men with certain medical ailments of age-related erectile dysfunction (ED) no longer require succumbing to unsatisfactory sex lives.

However, certain problems lie with the use of this drug, one of them being the fact that these ED drugs do not work for every man. They are also likely to produce side effects in some users while for others, it might not be safe to use such as men suffering from heart diseases.

For these men who are unable to take Viagra for any underlying cause, watermelon has been regarded as a safe alternative with no possibility of side effects.

Can watermelon really treat erectile dysfunction? Keep reading to find more.

Why can Watermelon Cure ED?

Watermelon is naturally rich in a compound named as citrulline. Citrulline is structurally an amino acid which is thought to support erections.

Viagra typically works by increasing the flow of blood towards penis, allowing a man to get an erection easily when he is aroused. Citrulline is hypothesized to do the same thing, though it may work differently than Viagra.

Preliminary research has suggested that the human body converts citrulline into another type of amino acid known as arginine. Arginine eventually gets converted into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is responsible for dilating the blood vessels and increasing the flow of blood to the penis. This ultimately causes an increase in erections.

Watermelon majorly comprises of water and the highest amount of citrulline is thought to come from watermelon juice.

Men who wish to try watermelon as an alternative to Viagra may observe better results with the watermelon juice.

RELATED: Erectile dysfunction – Associated medical conditions

What the Research Says

Research regarding the effects of watermelon due to citrulline is rather new. Most of the studies have been performed on a smaller scale and involve animals. As such, it is quite early to make a conclusive judgment whether watermelon can replace Viagra.

Preliminary research is, however, quite promising and there have been minimal or absolutely no risks associated with the consumption of watermelon. This means that men can safely try this amazing fruit or citrulline supplements in place of Viagra to enjoy a healthy sexual life.

A study undertaken in 2011 included 24 men suffering from ED. These men took placebo for a month followed by citrulline supplements for another month. Only two out of 24 men observed improvements while taking a placebo. On the other hand, half of the men who used citrulline noticed improvements in their erections.

Men who took citrulline also indulged in sexual activities more often, averaging about 1.37 sessions per month before getting a treatment, and 23 per month after receiving it. None of the men reported any sort of side effects.

Another study undertook in 2013 collected data about rats suffering from ED due to reduced blood flow to the penis. This disease, known as arteriogenic erectile dysfunction, is also a common cause of ED in humans.

Rats that used citrulline water supplements improved their overall erectile function as compared to the rats that just received placebo and the ones which underwent a surgical procedure on the blood vessels. These findings also suggest that by improving the flow of blood to the penis, citrulline can potentially improve erections.

A research study carried out in 2014 evaluated the effect of watermelon flesh extract on male rats. Rats who consumed this extract were observed to mount the female and initiate sexual intercourse. This was documented as an increase in libido, suggesting watermelon as a significant treatment for ED.

No serious side effects were observed in the rats. Additionally, the rats which consumed watermelon extract also did not put on any weight.

The latest research published in 2017 investigated the role of citrulline and arginine in ED. The researchers measured the amounts of both these amino acids in 122 participants suffering from ED.

They observed that the levels of one or both of these amino acids occurred in men with ED, particularly of the arteriogenic type. This indicates that increasing the levels of citrulline or arginine, or even both can cause significant improvements in ED.

It is important to note that watermelon may not be as effective as Viagra. Also, it might not work for those who have not been able to cure their ED of Viagra.

Why is this so? This is because watermelon works by increasing the blood gushing towards penis, a mechanism similar to that of Viagra. If another issue, such as a relationship problem or a nerve damage, is what’s causing ED in a man, merely increasing the flow of blood might not be of any help.

Research performed on animals often applies to humans, however, this is not always true. Studies that have found citrulline to be effective against ED do not essentially prove that it will work on humans.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved citrulline as a proper treatment for ED. More trials have been warranted before it can be called as an effective way of managing ED.

Weighing the Risks and Benefits

Watermelon is generally considered to be safe, even if consumed in larger quantities. Unless a man is allergic to it, watermelon can be consumed safely.

Men suffering from diabetes should consult with their doctors regarding the amount of watermelon they can consume. This is because watermelons along with other fruits can raise the blood sugar. So, eating them in massive quantities might not be suitable for diabetics.

Watermelon is not high in calories but excessive consumption of anything can obviously lead to weight gain. It is not wise to eat any food item in larger quantities, especially when doing so is going to cause a gut pain or an uncomfortable feeling.

No research has indicated any serious side effects linked with watermelon in both animals and humans. As such, it is perfectly fine to use watermelon as an alternative to Viagra, or even use them both simultaneously.

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How to Use Watermelon

The main benefits of watermelon are due to citrulline. Using it in a way to maximize citrulline intake is what will increase its efficiency.

A study has indicated that red watermelon contains citrulline in a slightly lower amount as compared to its orange and yellow varieties. Moreover, watermelon rind is also said to have a higher amount of citrulline as compared to its flesh.

There is no difference in citrulline levels between the seeded and seedless varieties.

You can try blending the rind of watermelon into a smoothie to maximize the intake of citrulline. Citrulline supplements can also be taken in this regard but it is better to consult a doctor for your own safety.

Conclusion

Viagra is usually considered as a safe and effective option for most of the men suffering from ED. For those who cannot use it or other ED drugs due to any reason, watermelon can be one of the many possibilities.

Men suffering from ED should consult a doctor and work out the best treatment option. In some cases, the combination of both medicines and natural items produce better results.

 

Nancy Walker

Nancy holds a Medicine degree and a Masters of Science MS in Infectious Disease and Global Health (MS-IDGH) from Tufts University. She worked as a lecturer for three years before she turned towards medical writing. Her area of interest are infectious diseases; causes, mechanism, diagnosis, treatments and prevention strategies. Most of her writings ensure an easy understanding of uncommon diseases.

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