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Watermelon may increase sex drive

Aggie study suggests Viagra-like effect in fruit

Published: Saturday, February 14, 2009

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07

Research suggests watermelon may be a better recipe for love than chocolate this Valentine's Day.

"When I think of Valentine's Day, I think more of whipped cream and strawberries, not watermelon," said Courtney Hynek, a sophomore industrial engineering major.

Eating watermelon delivers Viagra-like effects to the blood vessels in the body and may even increase libido, according to the research of Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M's Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center.

"The more we study watermelons, the more we realize just how amazing a fruit it is in providing natural enhancers to the human body," Patil said. "We've always known that watermelon is good for you, but the list of its very important healthful benefits grows longer with each study."

Watermelons have naturally occurring nutrients that can produce healthy reactions in the body. One of those nutrients is citrulline, which is converted to arginine through reactions initiated by enzymes. Arginine is a compound known to improve blood circulation throughout the entire body.

"The citrulline-arginine relationship helps heart health, the immune system and may prove to be very helpful for those who suffer from obesity and type two diabetes," Patil said. "Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it."

"I had no idea that watermelon could be so beneficial in so many ways," said Courtney Casey, a sophomore general studies major. "I associate watermelon with children and the fourth of July, but after learning of the ways that watermelon can help the circulatory system, I think I will eat it more often."

While Viagra was created with the male reproductive system in mind, Patil said that although watermelon is not organ-specific, it does help to relax the blood vessels and improve overall health.

But the health benefits of watermelon consumption don't end with the circulatory system. According to Patil, watermelon is 92 percent water, but the other 8 percent is saturated with lycopene, an anti-oxidant known to protect heart, prostate and skin health.

In addition, there is scientific evidence suggesting lycopene can help with male infertility.

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