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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Effect of beetroot juice on lowering blood pressure in free-living, disease-free adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial

Leah T Coles* and Peter M Clifton

Author Affiliations

Nutritional Interventions Laboratory (LC, PC), Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia

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Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:106  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-106

Published: 11 December 2012

Abstract

Background

The consumption of beetroot juice on a low nitrate diet may lower blood pressure (BP) and therefore reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. However, it is unknown if its inclusion as part of a normal diet has a similar effect on BP. The aim of the study was to conduct a randomized controlled trial with free-living adults to investigate if consuming beetroot juice in addition to a normal diet produces a measureable reduction in BP.

Method

Fifteen women and fifteen men participated in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Volunteers were randomized to receive 500 g of beetroot and apple juice (BJ) or a placebo juice (PL). Volunteers had BP measured at baseline and at least hourly for 24-h following juice consumption using an ambulatory blood pressure monitor (ABPM). Volunteers remained at the clinic for 1-h before resuming normal non-strenuous daily activities. The identical procedure was repeated 2-wk later with the drink (BJ or PL) not consumed on the first visit.

Results

Overall, there was a trend (P=0.064) to lower systolic blood pressure (SBP) at 6-h after drinking BJ relative to PL. Analysis in men only (n=13) after adjustment for baseline differences demonstrated a significant (P<0.05) reduction in SBP of 4 – 5 mmHg at 6-h after drinking BJ.

Conclusions

Beetroot juice will lower BP in men when consumed as part of a normal diet in free-living healthy adults.

Trial registration

anzctr.org.au ACTRN12612000445875

Keywords:
Beetroot; Blood pressure; Hypertension; Inorganic nitrate