Beetroot Juice: The Key to Improving Heart Health in the Elderly?

Participants who took a daily dose of beet juice had 24% greater endurance
Participants who took a daily dose of beet juice had 24% greater endurance

A daily dose of beetroot juice was found to significantly improve exercise endurance and blood pressure in elderly patients. The findings could be particularly important for patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF), the fastest growing cardiovascular disorder in the U.S. The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology-Heart Failure.

The double-blind, randomized safety study, conducted by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers, split 19 participants into 2 groups where one group was given a single dose and the other given a daily dose of beetroot juice over multiple days. Aerobic endurance and blood pressure were measured, then the researchers administered a daily dose of beetroot juice to all 19 participants for an average of 7 days, and took the measurements again.

RELATED: Nitrites Can Aid Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction

Taking a daily dose (2.4oz containing ~6mmol inorganic nitrate) of beetroot juice was shown to increase aerobic endurance among the patients by 24% after one week, compared with no identifiable increase associated with the single dose. The researchers measured endurance by timing the participants on exercise bikes, and how long the periods were until exhaustion. Also, they found that the juice reduced resting systolic blood pressure in both the single and daily dose groups by 5–10mmHg.

New evidence suggests that dietary inorganic nitrate supplementation has beneficial effects on blood pressure control, vascular health, exercise capacity and oxygen metabolism. The juice used in the study was produced by a company in the U.K., and is not yet available in the U.S.

For more information visit WakeHealth.edu.

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