Beetroot juice benefits patients with heart failure
Beetroot juice improves muscle power in patients with heart failures. This happens because beetroot is rich in nitrates.
This has been shown by researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The study has been published in journal Circulation: Heart Failure.
It is a known fact in the literature that dietary dietary nitrates improves muscle performance in sportsperson.
Spinach, arugula and celery are other green leafy vegetables rich in nitrates. Comic character Poeye use to get muscular strength from eating spinach.
Conversion of the nitrates are into nitric oxide lead to various beneficial effects on blood pressure and cardiovascular system.
The benefits are most noticeable during aerobic exercises . these exercises like walking, cycling or swimming lead to increased consumption and demand.
The researchers wanted to know whether heart failure patients may benefit in similar ways to athletes, since heart failure is the gradual loss of pumping capacity.
According to researchers, daily activities like getting out of a chair, lifting groceries, climbing stairs can become a demanding job and have a major impact on quality of life in cases of patients with heart failure.
If they are benefited, they would have more power at their disposal and better quality of life.
13% Increase in Power in Muscles
The researchers worked on a group of nine patients and gave each of them a beet juice treatment.
The patients acted as their own control group. Some of them received what appeared to be the same beet juice with nitrates removed, making it a placebo beet juice.
Between the trial sessions, there was a 1-2-week break.
Researchers and patients both were not aware of the fact as who received the treatment beet juice and placebo beet juice.
The strength of the muscles was measured by doing knee extension activity.
The researchers found that two hours after drinking the juice, patients who consumed the beet juice containing nitrates showed a 13% increase in power in muscles that extend the knee. The greatest benefit was observed when muscles were moved at the greatest speed.
The size of the benefit was estimated to be comparable to that seen in heart failure patients who have done 2-3 months of resistance exercises.
- Acute dietary nitrate intake improves muscle contractile function in patients with heart failure, Linda R. Peterson et al., Circulation: Heart Failure, doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.115.002141, published online 15 July 2015, abstract.
- Washington University School of Medicine news release