If you drink a single glass of beetroot juice a day it dramatically reduces blood pressure for those that suffer from high blood pressure, says researchers who performed a placebo-controlled trial at Queen Mary University of London in the UK.
The trial consisted of dozens of patients and funded by the British Heart Foundation.
The study was built on previous research done by the same team who found a single glass of beetroot juice lowers blood pressure in people who suffer from hypertension and even those patients who did not use drug therapy to control their high blood pressure.
The study was published in the medical journal Hypertension.
High levels of inorganic nitrate can be found in beetroots which are taken from the soil through the roots. The human body converts inorganic nitrate to nitrate oxide which helps dilate the blood vessels.
The researchers brought in 64 patients ranging in the ages of 18-85. Half of the patients were on a drug therapy for high blood pressure, however they were not able to reach their blood pressure target, while the rest of the participants had high blood pressure but were not taking any drugs for it.
The researchers randomly put the patients into one of two groups. The first group drank a daily glass (8.5 oz) of beetroot juice, and the other group drank the same, however their beetroot juice did not contain nitrate (placebo).
The participants drank the juice every day for four weeks. The researchers closely monitored the participants two week before and two weeks after the trial, which brought the trial period to eight weeks.
An interesting fact to the trial was that it was double-blinded. This means that neither the researchers or the participants knew which beetroot juice given was the placebo or active supplement.
This was the First Study To Show Dramatic Reduction in Blood Pressure From Dietary Nitrate
The group that took the active supplement beetroot juice saw a reduction in blood pressure of 8/4 mmHg during the four week study.
The first number shows the reduction in systolic pressure (the heart pushes). The second number is the diastolic pressure reduction (the heart relaxes). For most patients the 8/4 mmHg reduction brought their blood pressure into normal ranges.
In the last two weeks of the study this group stopped taking the beetroot juice and their blood pressure returned to the previous highs.
The participants who took the active supplement beetroot juice also saw a twenty percent improvement in blood vessel dilations and the stiffness of the arteries was reduced by ten percent. Other studies show that this kind of reduction is linked to lower risk of heart disease.
The placebo group saw no changes in blood pressure, artery stiffness, or blood vessel function during the study.
The researchers want noted that the reductions and improvements seen in the active supplement group is comparable to those who use drug therapy. The average blood pressure reduction that anti-hypertension drug therapy brings is 9/5 mmHg.