Beetroot juice can help people with coronary heart disease
A daily glass of beetroot juice could have a positive impact on the health of people with coronary heart disease and reduce the risk of heart attack.
If the blood vessels that feed the heart become calcified, they become more and more clogged over time. This is coronary heart disease. According to the German Heart Foundation, around six million people are affected by the disease in Germany alone. A recent study from Queen Mary University of London has now shown that a glass of beetroot juice a day could reduce inflammation in the body of people with coronary heart disease.
“Inflammation is critical in protecting the body from injury and infection. However, in people with coronary artery disease, prolonged inflammation can worsen hardening of the arteries and increase the risk of heart attack,” explains Dr. Asad Shabbir who contributed to the study. Nitric oxide is produced by the body and plays an important role in regulating blood pressure and has an anti-inflammatory effect. People with cardiovascular disease have lower levels of nitric oxide in their blood because the enzyme that produces it is less active in them.
Beetroot juice helps with coronary heart disease
The inorganic nitrate in beet juice has an anti-inflammatory effect, the researchers recently reported at the British Cardiovascular Society conference. Inorganic nitrate has an effect on the level of nitric oxide: it increases and inflammation is inhibited, as scientists show.
“Our research suggests that a glass of beet juice a day is one way to incorporate inorganic nitrate into the diet to stop harmful inflammation,” summarizes Asad Shabbir. In the study, the researchers looked at 114 healthy subjects. A typhoid vaccine triggered temporary inflammation in the body in 78 participants. 36 subjects received a cream that triggered skin inflammation. Half of the study participants received 140 milliliters of high-nitrate beet juice and the other half of beet juice with the filtered nitrate.
Further clinical studies are needed
The subjects who received the typhoid vaccine and who received the high-nitrate juice had significantly higher levels of nitric oxide in their blood, urine, and saliva than the group who received the nitrate-free juice. Likewise, the nitrate-rich juice caused the endothelial cells that line the inside of the blood vessels to recover faster. They are important for blood vessel function, but their normal function is lost when they become inflamed. The rash also healed much faster.
The study had only a few participants and its informational value is therefore limited. In addition, the scientists conducted the study with healthy and non-healthy subjects with coronary heart disease patients. Clinical trials with subjects who have coronary artery disease should now clarify whether a nitrate-rich diet can demonstrably reduce the risk of heart attack.
Sources:Communication British Heart Foundation, German Heart Foundation