(NaturalNews) According to a new study conducted by an Indian researcher, daily intake of beetroot juice can help lower your blood pressure. Hypertensive people who took an average of 8 oz of beetroot juice on a daily basis, saw their blood pressure drop by about 10 mm Hg.
Researchers, however, said that the preliminary findings do not, as of yet, suggest that adding beetroot juice to your regular diet will have an immediate positive impact on one's health.
Amrita Ahluwalia, PhD, the study's lead author and vascular pharmacology professor at The London Medical School and The Barts in London said that they are very optimistic that an increase in an individual's intake of vegetables rich in dietary nitrate content like beetroot and other green leafy veggies can be a good lifestyle approach that one can easily adopt to promote overall cardiovascular health.
Generally, a glass of beetroot juice contains approximately 0.2 g of dietary nitrate. This is the same volume one can get from a big bowl of lettuce, or maybe two beetroots. When ingested, the body converts the nitrate into a chemical known as nitrite, and then later into nitric oxide in the blood. Nitric oxide is a type of gas that facilitates blood flow and widens the blood vessels.
Dr. Ahluwalia added that even they were surprised at the small amount of nitrate that was required in order to produce such a significant result. She added that the study proves that people with a need to lower their blood pressure require a lot less nitrite to experience health benefits compared to people with healthy or normal blood pressure.
However, she claims that they are still not sure if the effect can be maintained for the long term. The study was conducted on seven men and eight women who had a systolic BP between 140 and 159 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury), were not taking medications for blood pressure, and didn't have other medical conditions.
The participants were made to take 250 ml of water loaded with a low volume of nitrate, or beetroot juice, and had their BP monitored over a 24 hour period. Typically, blood pressure is represented by two numbers. The higher and top number is known as the systolic blood pressure. This is the pressure applied on the arteries while the heart beats. On the other hand, the lower and bottom number is called diastolic blood pressure, which measures the BP in the arteries in-between heartbeats.
In the research, those who took beetroot juice experienced lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure compared to the placebo group. This is even after the nitrite flowing in the blood had gone back to levels before the beetroot juice intake, and was maintained even after 24 more hours.
The study is published in Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association.