The Evidence-Based Health Benefits Of Beetroot Juice

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A number of studies have now confirmed various health benefits of consuming Beetroot juice such as lowering blood pressure and improving cardio-respiratory performance in athletes.

Much of the health benefits of Beetroot juice are thought to be due to the rich content of dietary inorganic nitrate.

Beetroot juice increases levels of nitric oxide (NO), which serves multiple functions related to increased blood flow, gas exchange, mitochondrial biogenesis and efficiency, and strengthening of muscle contraction.

Beets are a good source of many nutrients including folate, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, fiber, Vitamin C, iron and Vitamin B6.

Beetroot juice is also one of the richest food sources of Betaine also known as TMG(tri-methyl-glycine).  TMG functions as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and acts as a methyl-donor supporting the methylation process in the body.

Methylation is responsible for many body functions such as protein synthesis, liver detoxification, neurotransmitter/hormone production, homocysteine metabolism and much more.  Beetroot juice is often promoted traditionally to improve liver detoxification.

Beetroot contains many health promoting phytochemicals including betalains, ascorbic acid, carotenoids, phenolic acids and flavonoids.

Let’s take a look at some of the potential evidence-based health benefits of consuming beetroot juice from the latest scientific research.

Beetroot Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Beetroot juice lowers blood pressure studyA cutting-edge systematic review and meta-analysis has recently confirmed the nitrate-independent blood pressure lowering effects of beetroot juice.

There are now numerous studies that have shown beetroot, delivered acutely as a juice supplement to significantly reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

A systematic review and meta-analysis published this year(2017) in the Advances in Nutrition Journal aimed to clarify several aspects of beetroot juice supplementation on systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP).

Randomized clinical trials that investigated the effects of beetroot juice on resting blood pressure in humans were recruited for quality assessment, meta-analyses, subgroup analyses, and meta-regressions; of these, 22 were conducted between 2009 and 2017 and included a total of 47 intervention (n = 650) and 43 control (n = 598) groups.

Overall, SBP (−3.55 mm Hg; 95% CI: −4.55, −2.54 mm Hg) and DBP (−1.32 mm Hg; 95% CI: −1.97, −0.68 mm Hg) were significantly lower in the beetroot juice–supplemented groups than in the control groups.

The mean difference of SBP was larger between beetroot juice–supplemented and control groups in the longer than in the shorter (≥14 compared with <14 d) study durations (−5.11 compared with −2.67 mm Hg) and the highest compared with the lowest (500 compared with 70 and 140 mL/d) doses of beetroot juice (−4.78 compared with −2.37 mm Hg).

A positive correlation was observed between beetroot juice doses and the mean differences of blood pressures. In contrast, a smaller effect size of blood pressures was observed after supplementation with higher NO3 (milligrams per 100 mL beetroot juice).

A weak effect size was observed in a meta-analysis of trials that used NO3-depleted beetroot juice as a placebo compared with other interventions (−3.09 compared with −4.51 mm Hg for SBP and −0.81 compared with −2.01 mm Hg for DBP).

Our results demonstrate the blood pressure–lowering effects of beetroot juice and highlight its potential NO3– independent effects. [1]

Beetroot Juice Improves Cardiorespiratory Endurance In Athletes

Beetroot juice improves Cardiorespiratory Endurance in AthletesBeetroot juice has a long history of being recommended as a nutritional aid to enhance athletic performance, primarily due to the rich content of dietary nitrate.

One of the latest systematic reviews published this year, reviewed the literature to determine the effects of beetroot juice supplementation and the combination of beetroot juice with other supplements on cardiorespiratory endurance in athletes.

After excluding reviews/meta-analyses, animal studies, inaccessible full-text, and studies that did not supplement with beetroot juice and adequately assess cardiorespiratory endurance, 23 articles were selected for analysis.

The available results suggest that supplementation with beetroot juice can improve cardiorespiratory endurance in athletes by increasing efficiency, which improves performance at various distances, increases time to exhaustion at submaximal intensities, and may improve the cardiorespiratory performance at anaerobic threshold intensities and maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max). [2]

Although the literature shows contradictory data, the findings of other studies lead us to hypothesize that supplementing with beetroot juice could mitigate the ergolytic effects of hypoxia on cardiorespiratory endurance in athletes.

It cannot be stated that the combination of beetroot juice with other supplements has a positive or negative effect on cardiorespiratory endurance, but it is possible that the effects of supplementation with beetroot juice can be undermined by interaction with other supplements such as caffeine.

References

[1] The Nitrate-Independent Blood Pressure–Lowering Effect of Beetroot Juice: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

http://advances.nutrition.org/content/8/6/830.abstract

[2] Effects of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Athletes. A Systematic Review

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5295087/

[3] The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425174/

The information in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any disease, implied or otherwise.

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