Influence of lemon (Citrus limon) and lime (Citrus aurantifolia) juices on the erectogenic properties of sildenafil in rats with L-NAME-induced erectile dysfunction

J Food Biochem. 2022 Feb;46(2):e14074. doi: 10.1111/jfbc.14074. Epub 2022 Jan 16.


The use of lemon (Citrus limon) and lime (Citrus aurantifolia) juices for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) is fast becoming common practice, even though there is dearth of information on the effect of such functional food and drug combination in the management of ED. This study evaluated the effect of lemon and lime juices on the erectogenic properties of sildenafil. ED was induced with L-NAME (40 mg/kg body weight). The rats were divided into 11 groups (n = 6) and given various doses of the test samples. Immediately after the sexual behavior studies, the animals were sacrificed and the penile and brain tissues were isolated. The results revealed that lime and lemon juices improved sexual behavior in rats by improving NO production and inhibiting the activities of PDE-5, arginase, ACE, MAO, ATPdase, AMPdase, and activated antioxidant enzymes. Furthermore, lime at 1.0 ml/kg significantly improved the therapeutic properties of sildenafil. While, lemon (0.5 and 1.0 ml/kg) and lime (0.5 ml/kg) did not show any synergistic effect. This study revealed that lime and lemon juices could improve erectile function and combining lime juice with sildenafil could be very effective in the management of ED. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: The therapeutic management of erectile dysfunction has involved maximizing NO production through the modulation of macromolecules such as phosphodiesterase-5 and arginase with the use of drugs such as sildenafil. Combining such drugs with functional foods such as lime and lemon juices is becoming common practice. However, there is dearth of report on the effect of lime and lemon juices on the erectogenic potentials of sildenafil. The present study shows that combining 1 ml/kg lime juice (got from 2 lime fruits) with sildenafil will boost the erectogenic properties of the drug. While combining lime (0.5 ml/kg) and lemon (0.5 and 1.0 ml/kg) juices with the drug did not have any synergistic effect.

Keywords: arginase; erectile dysfunction; lemon; lime; phosphodiesterase-5.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Citrus*
  • Erectile Dysfunction* / chemically induced
  • Erectile Dysfunction* / drug therapy
  • Fruit and Vegetable Juices
  • Humans
  • Male
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Sildenafil Citrate / pharmacology
  • Sildenafil Citrate / therapeutic use


  • Sildenafil Citrate
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester