Nitrate-Enriched Beetroot Juice Produces Reduction in Systolic BP in COPD

Active treatment lowered SBP, improved 6-minute walk test, improved measures of endothelial function
Nitrate-Enriched Beetroot Juice Produces Reduction in Systolic BP in COPD
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 20, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), dietary nitrate supplementation in the form of beetroot juice results in a sustained reduction in systolic blood pressure (SBP), according to a study published online Dec. 19 in the European Respiratory Journal.

Ali M. Alasmari, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial involving stable COPD patients with home SBP measurement ≥130 mm Hg. Participants were randomly assigned to 70 mL of nitrate-rich beetroot juice (400 mg NO3) or an identical nitrate-depleted placebo juice once daily for 12 weeks (40 and 41 patients, respectively).

The researchers found that active treatment lowered SBP (Hodges-Lemman treatment effect mean difference, −4.5 mm Hg), improved 6-minute walk distance (+30.0 m), and improved measures of endothelial function (reactive hyperemia index [+0.34] and augmentation index [−7.61 percent]) compared with placebo.

"There is some evidence that beetroot juice as a source of nitrate supplementation could be used by athletes to improve their performance, as well as a few short-term studies looking at blood pressure. Higher levels of nitrate in the blood can increase the availability of nitric oxide, a chemical that helps blood vessels relax. It also increases the efficiency of muscles," lead author Nicholas Hopkinson, Ph.D., also of Imperial College London, said in a statement. "This is one of the longest-duration studies in this area so far. The results are very promising, but will need to be confirmed in larger, longer-term studies."

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