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Citrulline is an extremely popular ingredient in pre workout supplements and pump supplements thanks to its ability to boost nitric oxide synthesis. It can help to increase blood flow to the working muscle bringing with it nutrients and oxygen to sustain high level performance. But did you know that new research has suggested it can also help you lose fat?

Researchers in France recently fed rats a high fat diet or a control diet before treating them with citrulline. What they found was that beta oxidation, the process in which fatty acid molecules are broken down for energy was increased for all groups. In addition, a process known as glyceroneogenesis was downregulated. This process creates and releases fatty acid into the bloodstream, which if the process is excessively active can lead to the development of metabolic disorders and type 2 diabetes.

In other words, citrulline was able to affect levels of adipose tissue and general fat metabolism, through what the researchers believe is due to its effects on nitric oxide synthase. This is the enzyme that produces nitric oxide from L-arginine. While the study was performed on animals, there’s promise that citrulline may be a useful addition to a fat loss regimen in the future.

Practical Applications

With greater proportions of the population getting fatter and more time poor, sometimes you just need something to help get you started before you’re able to really commit to the long term changes such as exercising and diet. Having some citrulline may be a good way to not only boost fat burning, but can be used to help you work out harder as well. Try to have around 3-6g before you workout, or sometime throughout the day for a couple of weeks.

Joffin N, Jaubert AM, Durant S, Bastin J, De Bandt JP, Cynober L, Moinard C, Coumoul X, Forest C, Noirez P. ‘Citrulline reduces glyceroneogenesis and induces fatty acid release in visceral adipose tissue from overweight rats.’ Mol Nutr Food Res. 2014 Oct 1.

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