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Is watermelon the organic Viagra?
A study demonstrates watermelon's Viagra-like effects, but the devil's in the details.
W

hat happened
Researchers say that watermelon has effects similar to Viagra. Watermelons contain a compound called citrulline that helps relax the body's blood vessels—similarly, Viagra acts as a muscle relaxant, which helps patients with erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow. (AP)

What the commentators said
I thought Fourth of July weekend was going to be predictably unexciting, said James Oliphant in the Chicago Tribune's The Swamp blog. But this is "some good news." And who knew? "Except perhaps the National Watermelon Promotion Board."

What nonsense, said Scienceblogs' Effect Measure blog. The media reports of watermelon's Viagra-like effects are just a "warmed over press release" that grossly overstates the facts. "No matter how much watermelon you eat, it won't cause you to have an erection lasting more than four hours. You might have a pretty good bowel movement, though."

The researchers don't know "how much citrulline is needed to have Viagra-like effects," said Kathleen Doheny on WebMD. And other experts say that consumers should not expect watermelon to alleviate erectile disfunction, so eat all the watermelon you want — "just don't expect fireworks anywhere but in the sky."

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