A daily dose of beetroot juice significantly improves exercise endurance and blood pressure in older patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, say US researchers.
Emerging evidence suggests that dietary inorganic nitrate supplementation has beneficial effects on blood pressure control and cardiovascular health, said the authors of a small study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology-Heart Failure.
The Wake Forest Baptist researchers randomised 19 people to various does of juice or placebo given over multiple days. The beetroot juice used was produced by a UK company.
First, aerobic endurance and blood pressure were measured after the participants received either a single dose of beetroot juice or a single dose of placebo.
The researchers then administered a daily dose of beetroot juice to all the patients for an average of seven days, and measured endurance and blood pressure again.
The team found that the daily dosing of beetroot juice improved aerobic endurance by 24% after one week, compared to the single dose which produced no improvement.
Another finding was that consumption of the juice significantly reduced resting systolic blood pressure in both the single and daily dose groups by 5-10mmHg.
Senior study author Professor Dalane Kitzman said: “Although larger trials need to be conducted, these initial findings suggest that one week of daily beetroot juice could be a potential therapeutic option to improve aerobic endurance in patients with HFPEF, which has implications for improving everyday activities and quality of life.”