Drinking beetroot juice may lower blood pressure in men, according to a recent study.
Beet is a flowering perennial plant that produces leaves and roots that are widely used as a food source in humans and animals. Beets are a source of vitamins A and C, iron and other minerals, carotenoids and dietary fiber.
Along with high blood sugar levels and high cholesterol, high blood pressure is a known risk factor for heart disease that may be improved with diet and lifestyle changes. Early evidence suggests that sugar beet fiber may modestly lower systolic blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes. Additional research is warranted.
In a recent study, researchers randomly assigned 15 healthy men and15 healthy women to receive 500 grams of beetroot and apple juice or a placebo drink. After two weeks, each participant received the opposite drink. Blood pressure was monitored before drink consumption and hourly over the course of the 24 hours following drink consumption.
The researchers found that six hours after drinking beetroot juice, men experienced a significant reduction in blood pressure. Overall, in both men and women, there was a trend toward lower blood pressure after six hours; however a significant reduction was lacking.
The authors concluded that drinking beetroot juice may lower blood pressure in men; however, due to the small sample size, further research is warranted before any firm conclusions can be made.
In addition to beets, numerous human studies report that garlic may lower blood pressure. Furthermore, preliminary research suggests that CoQ10 causes small decreases in blood pressure (systolic and possibly diastolic). Low blood levels of CoQ10 have been found in people with hypertension, although it is not clear if CoQ10 "deficiency" is a cause of high blood pressure. Well-designed long-term research is needed to strengthen these findings.
For more information about integrative therapies for high blood pressure, please visit Natural Standard's Comparative Effectiveness Database.
For more information about beets, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements Database.