Highlights:

  • Nitrate-rich beetroot juice enhances blood vessel function in postmenopausal women
  • Long-term consumption could potentially reduce heart disease risk
  • Offers a natural and safe complement to traditional treatments for cardiovascular health

Heart disease risk increases dramatically for women after menopause due to decreased estrogen production. Researchers investigated whether beetroot juice, rich in nitrate, could improve blood vessel function and potentially reduce this risk (1 Trusted Source
Give me a beet: Why this root vegetable should be on your plate

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Beetroot Juice and Nitric Oxide

Beetroot juice contains high levels of nitrate, converted by the body into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps blood vessels relax and expand, improving blood flow throughout the circulatory system. This is particularly beneficial during limited blood flow situations like heart attacks.

Researchers studied the impact of nitrate-rich beetroot juice on blood vessel health in 24 postmenopausal women in their 50s and 60s.

Participants underwent vascular function tests followed by a week of daily concentrated beetroot juice consumption (equivalent to three large beets per serving). After a few weeks, they received beetroot juice with nitrate removed, without knowing which juice they were drinking. Blood flow was monitored again after the final dose.

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Improved Blood Vessel Function

The study showed that daily consumption of nitrate-rich beetroot juice improved blood flow compared to the nitrate-free version. Researchers believe this improvement, if sustained, could significantly reduce heart disease risk.

Long-term beetroot juice consumption’s impact on heart health needs further study. However, the benefits of nitrate-rich vegetables in general are well-established.

Daily or more frequent beetroot juice consumption might be necessary for optimal cardiovascular benefits. This research lays the groundwork for beetroot juice as a tool to protect blood vessel health in mid-life women facing increased heart disease risk.

The study included both early (1-6 years post-menopause) and late postmenopausal women (6+ years). Both groups experienced similar improvements in blood vessel health.

This is significant because some cardiovascular treatments for postmenopausal women, like hormone therapy, are only safe for a few years after menopause due to potential cancer and stroke risks.

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Beetroot Juice as a Potential Supplement

Beetroot juice is already recommended by some clinicians for individuals with high blood pressure. This study suggests it could be a safe and effective way to improve blood vessel function and maintain cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women.

Considering most women spend a third of their lives postmenopausal, these findings hold significant promise.

The lead researcher’s doctoral presentation on this research won an award in 2023. The positive response from both the research community and the study participants is encouraging.

Several participants planned to continue consuming beetroot juice after the study. There is a clear desire among postmenopausal women to explore natural ways to support their heart health without relying solely on medications.

Beetroot juice consumption could potentially become a complementary approach to improving blood vessel health in millions of women as they age.

Reference:

  1. Give me a beet: Why this root vegetable should be on your plate – (https://www.heart.org/en/news/2023/02/22/give-me-a-beet-why-this-root-vegetable-should-be-on-your-plate)

Source-Medindia

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