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Why beetroot juice lowers blood pressure
LONDON, June 30 (UPI) -- Nitrate content appears to be the reason why beetroot juice lowers blood pressure, researchers in Britain said.
Study author Amrita Ahluwalia, a professor of vascular biology at Queen Mary's William Harvey Research Institute, at Queen Mary University of London, said the study demonstrated that the nitrate found in beetroot juice was the cause of its beneficial effects on cardiovascular health by increasing the levels of the gas nitric oxide in the circulation.
The study, published online in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, found blood pressure lowered within 24 hours in people who took nitrate tablets and in people who drank beetroot juice.
"We gave inorganic nitrate capsules or beetroot juice to healthy volunteers and compared their blood pressure responses and the biochemical changes occurring in the circulation," Ahluwalia said in a statement. "We showed that beetroot and nitrate capsules are equally effective in lowering blood pressure indicating that it is the nitrate content of beetroot juice that underlies its potential to reduce blood pressure."