A very small proof-of-principle study has demonstrated that drinking beetroot juice can substantially lower the blood pressure in people who are hypertensive.
Beetroot juice is rich in nitrates. In the study, between three and six hours after consuming just 250 mL of beetroot juice, blood pressure measurements were down significantly in participants. Notably, systolic blood pressure was down by a mean 11.2 mm Hg in patients diagnosed with high blood pressure, compared to just 0.7 mm Hg down in a control group.
The research was conducted by Amrita Ahluwalia, PhD, of Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues.
Even a full day later, systolic blood pressure was much lower in the treatment cohort compared with the control group, demonstrating an average difference of 8.5 mm Hg.
These findings have been published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.
The study was carried out based on prior studies showing that one of the reasons fruits and vegetables are so good for us may be on account of the high levels of inorganic nitrate (NO3). The body converts NO3 to NO2 and then to nitric oxide (NO), and the result is vasodilation.
This small study included 15 participants diagnosed with hypertension who had previously not been treated for the condition.
Source: MedPage Today