Watermelon

Friday, May 31, 2013

002935.2013.05.31

Watermelon

Friday, May 31, 2013

ANCHOR LEAD: No matter how you slice it, watermelon has a lot going for itsweet, low calorie, high fiber, nutrient richand now food scientists have found it may help the fight against pre-hypertension. Dr. Edward Hill discusses watermelon and its potential health benefit in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Watermelon is not only sweet, juicy and low in calories. It also contains substances that may fight against pre-hypertension, which can lead to heart disease.

Watermelon is a rich natural source of L-citrulline, an amino acid that the body converts to L-arginine, an amino acid that helps regulate vascular tone.

Food scientists at Florida State University studied to see whether the amino acid in watermelon could help dilate blood vessels, so researchers gave nine pre-hypertensive adults a medicinal amount of the amino acid from watermelon extract. At the end of the experiment, the volunteers blood pressure readings had improved.

Watermelon is well tolerated. Participants in the Florida State pilot study reported no adverse effects. And, in addition to the vascular benefits of citrulline, watermelon provides abundant vitamin A, B6, C, fiber, potassium and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.

Approximately 60 percent of U.S. adults are pre-hypertensive or hypertensive.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.