01 July 2010
By Kounteya Sinha
New Delhi, India
The study reveals that the nitrate content of beetroot juice is the underlying cause behind the lowering of BP. The study, published in the American Heart Association journal, ‘Hypertension’, has found that blood pressure came down within 24 hours among patients who took nitrate tablets or drank beetroot juice.
The research will be welcome news to blood pressure patients who might now be able to use this novel natural approach to reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attacks – the world’s biggest killer.
Amrita Ahluwalia, a professor of vascular biology at Queen Mary’s Research Institute and the brain behind the study, said: "The investigation was able to demonstrate that the nitrate found in beetroot juice was the cause of its beneficial effects upon cardiovascular health by increasing the levels of the gas nitric oxide in the circulation."
"We gave inorganic nitrate capsules or beetroot juice to healthy volunteers and compared their BP responses and the biochemical changes occurring in the circulation. We showed that beetroot and nitrate capsules are equally effective in lowering BP," she added. The team also found that only 250 ml is needed to control BP. The nitrate in beetroot holds the key to bring down BP.
The latest finding has major implications for India, which has the highest number of BP patients in the world. Presently, more than 10 crore Indian adults suffer from hypertension.
The natural treatment is likely to find many takers since beetroot is readily available in Indian markets and is also not expensive.
Over the years, the vegetable has been used to treat cancer patients. Besides, beetroot purifies blood. It contains silica, which is vital for fingernails, ligaments, tendons and bones.
- Nitrate content of beetroot juice is underlying cause behind lowering of BP
- Study published in the journal ‘Hypertension’ found BP came down within 24 hours among patients who took nitrate tablets or drank beetroot juice
- Finding has major implications for India, which has world’s highest number of BP patients