Inter-Individual Responses to Citrulline Malate Oral Supplementation on Post-Exercise Hypotension in Hypertensives: A 24-Hour Analysis

Abstract Background: Studies have persuasively demonstrated that citrulline has a key role in the arginine-nitric oxide system, increasing nitric oxide bioavailability, an important mediator of peripheral vasodilation. Objective: To analyze the inter-individual post-exercise hypotension responsiveness following acute citrulline supplementation in hypertensives. Methods: Forty hypertensives were randomly assigned to one of the four experimental groups (control-placebo, control-citrulline, exercise-placebo, and exercise-citrulline). They ingested placebo or citrulline malate [CM] (6 grams). During the exercise session, individuals performed 40 minutes of walking/running on a treadmill at 60-70% of HR reserve. For the control session, the individuals remained seated at rest for 40 minutes. Office blood pressure (BP) was taken every 10 minutes until completing 60 minutes after the experimental session. The ambulatory BP device was programmed to take the readings every 20 minutes (awake time) and every 30 minutes (sleep time) over the course of 24 hours of monitoring. Statistical significance was defined as p < 0.05. Results: Unlike the other experimental groups, there were no “non-responders” in the exercise/citrulline (EC) for “awake” (systolic and diastolic BP) and “24 hours” (diastolic BP). The effect sizes were more consistent in the EC for systolic and diastolic ambulatorial BP response. The effects were “large” (> 0.8) for “awake”, “asleep”, and “24 hours” only in the EC for diastolic BP. Conclusion: CM supplementation can increase the post-exercise hypotensive effects in hypertensives. In addition, the prevalence of non-responders is lower when associated with aerobic exercise and CM supplementation.