Beetroot Juice May Help Improve Blood Pressure
Dietary inorganic nitrate is found in large quantities in green leafy vegetables and beetroot. Nitrate is reduced to nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to widen and stimulates the release of certain hormones. A new study suggests that nitrate-rich beetroot juice may help improve blood pressure.
Participants in the study included 47 people with an average age of 60 and elevated blood pressure levels. They consumed high-nitrate beetroot juice containing 400 mg of nitrate and in combination with 5 mg of folic acid, high-nitrate beetroot juice and a placebo, or nitrate-depleted beetroot juice and a placebo daily for 60 days. 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure was measured in a clinic at baseline, day 30, and day 60.
At the end of the study period, 24-hour systolic blood pressure in the high-nitrate beetroot juice and placebo group had decreased by 10.8 mmHg. In comparison, it dropped by 6.1 mmHg in the high-nitrate beetroot juice and folic acid group and by 0.3 mmHg in the nitrate-depleted beetroot juice group. 24-hour diastolic blood pressure decreased by 5.4 mmHg in the high-nitrate beetroot juice and placebo group, by 1.8 mmHg in the high-nitrate beetroot juice and folic acid group, and by 1.6 mmHg in the nitrate-depleted beetroot juice group.
The study was conducted by researchers from Newcastle University and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College. It was published on July 30, 2020 in The Journal of Nutrition.