Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drinking cup of beetroot juice daily may help lower blood pressure

Date:
April 15, 2013
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
A cup of beetroot juice a day may help reduce your blood pressure, according to a small study.

Beetroot juice. A cup of beetroot juice a day may help reduce your blood pressure, according to a small study in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.
Credit: Meliha Gojak / Fotolia

A cup of beetroot juice a day may help reduce your blood pressure, according to a small study in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.

People with high blood pressure who drank about 8 ounces of beetroot juice experienced a decrease in blood pressure of about 10 mm Hg. But the preliminary findings don't yet suggest that supplementing your diet with beetroot juice benefits your health, researchers said.

"Our hope is that increasing one's intake of vegetables with a high dietary nitrate content, such as green leafy vegetables or beetroot, might be a lifestyle approach that one could easily employ to improve cardiovascular health," said Amrita Ahluwalia, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a professor of vascular pharmacology at The Barts and The London Medical School in London.

The beetroot juice contained about 0.2g of dietary nitrate, levels one might find in a large bowl of lettuce or perhaps two beetroots. In the body the nitrate is converted to a chemical called nitrite and then to nitric oxide in the blood. Nitric oxide is a gas that widens blood vessels and aids blood flow.

"We were surprised by how little nitrate was needed to see such a large effect," Ahluwalia said. "This study shows that compared to individuals with healthy blood pressure much less nitrate is needed to produce the kinds of decreases in blood pressure that might provide clinical benefits in people who need to lower their blood pressure. However, we are still uncertain as to whether this effect is maintained in the long term."

The study involved eight women and seven men who had a systolic blood pressure between 140 to 159 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), did not have other medical complications and were not taking blood pressure medication. The study participants drank 250 mL of beetroot juice or water containing a low amount of nitrate, and had their blood pressure monitored over the next 24 hours.

Blood pressure is typically recorded as two numbers. Systolic blood pressure, which is the top number and the highest, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats. Diastolic blood pressure, the bottom and lower number, measures blood pressure in the arteries between heart beats.

Compared with the placebo group, participants drinking beetroot juice had reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure -- even after nitrite circulating in the blood had returned to their previous levels prior to drinking beetroot. The effect was most pronounced three to six hours after drinking the juice but still present even 24 hours later.

In the United States, more than 77 million adults have diagnosed high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart diseases and stroke. Eating vegetables rich in dietary nitrate and other critical nutrients may be an accessible and inexpensive way to manage blood pressure, Ahluwalia said.

Getting people to eat more fruits and vegetables is challenging, but results of the study offer hope, she said. "In the U.K., the general public is told that they should be eating five portions of fruit or vegetables a day but this can be hard to do. Perhaps we should have a different approach to dietary advice. If one could eat just one (fruit or vegetable) a day, this is one more than nothing and should be viewed as positive."

The USDA recommends filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables, and the American Heart Association recommends eating eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day.

Co-authors are Suborno M. Ghosh, B.Sc.; Vikas Kapil, M.A., M.B.B.S., M.R.C.P.; Isabel Fuentes-Calvo, Ph.D.; Kristen J. Bubb, Ph.D.; Vanessa Pearl; Alexandra B. Milsom,BSc PhD; Rayomand Khambata, B.Sc., Ph.D.; Sheiva Maleki-Toyserkani, B.Med.Sci.; Mubeen Yousuf, B.Med.Sci.; Nigel Benjamin, M.D., F.R.C.P.; Andrew J. Webb, Ph.D., M.R.C.P.; Mark J. Caulfield, M.D., F.R.C.P.; and Adrian J. Hobbs, B.Sc., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The British Heart Foundation funded the study.

The American Heart Association has tips on adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Follow @HeartNews on Twitter for the latest heart and stroke news.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amrita Ahluwalia et al Advanced search Other content in.. Categories Health Keywords Medical Regions Europe North America. Enhanced vasodilator activity of nitrite in hypertension: critical role for erythrocytic xanthine oxidoreductase and translational potential. Hypertension, 2013

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Drinking cup of beetroot juice daily may help lower blood pressure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415172230.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2013, April 15). Drinking cup of beetroot juice daily may help lower blood pressure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415172230.htm
American Heart Association. "Drinking cup of beetroot juice daily may help lower blood pressure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415172230.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins