Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Why beetroot lowers HBP.

In Feb 2008, Prof Amrita Ahluwalia and team showed that beetroot juice lowers blood pressure, with 250ml providing peak protection after 3-4 hours and lasting for up to 24 hours.

The mechanism at that time was worked out to be nitrates converted to nitrites by saliva, converted by acid in the stomach to nitrous oxide, which relaxes the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. The time of lowest blood pressure matched the time of peak nitrite concentration in the blood.

In the study currently in the news, Ahluwalia re-checked the mechanism, but also looked at whether the effect was dose-dependent.

She found both natural nitrate (beetroot juice) and nitrate supplements had a dose dependent effect on blood pressure.

The lowering effect was most marked in males with high blood pressure and low blood nitrite concentrations. Pre-menopausal females appear to be better protected against high blood pressure naturally.

The mechanics are not new. C Duncan et al wrote in Nature Medicine on the pathway of dietary nitrate + saliva -> nitrite and nitric oxide in rats, in June 1995. That team also established the tongue needs to have bacteria to do this – no bacteria and the reaction does not occur.


June 30, 2010 - Posted by | Amrita Ahluwalia, Diet, Gender, Health, High blood pressure, Natural healing, Nitrates, Success

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