The Effects of Beetroot Juice on Blood Pressure, Microvascular Function and Large-Vessel Endothelial Function: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study in Healthy Older Adults.
Nutrients. 2019 Aug 2 ;11(8). Epub 2019 Aug 2. PMID: 31382524
Dietary nitrate (NO) has been reported to improve endothelial function (EF) and blood pressure (BP). However, most studies only assess large-vessel EF with little research on the microvasculature. Thus, the aim of the present pilot study is to examine NOsupplementation on microvascular and large-vessel EF and BP. Twenty older adults (63± 6 years) were randomized to a beetroot juice (BRJ) or placebo (PLA) group for 28 (±7) days and attended three laboratory visitations. Across visitations, blood pressure, microvascular function and large-vessel EF were assessed by laser Doppler imaging (LDI) with iontophoresis of vasoactive substances and flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), respectively. Plasma NOconcentrations, BP and the presence of NOreducing bacteria were also assessed. Plasma NOincreased following two weeks of BRJ supplementation (= 0.04) along with a concomitant decrease in systolic and diastolic BP of approximately -6 mmHg and -4 mmHg, respectively (= 0.04;= 0.01, respectively). BP remained unchanged in the PLA group. There were no significant differences in endothelium-dependent or endothelium-independent microvascular responses between groups. FMD increased by 1.5% following two weeks of BRJ (= 0.04), with only a minimal (0.1%) change for the PLA group. In conclusion, this pilot study demonstrated that medium-term BRJ ingestion potentially improves SBP, DBP and large-vessel EF in healthy older adults. The improvements observed in the present study are likely to be greater in populations presenting with endothelial dysfunction. Thus, further prospective studies are warranted in individuals at greater risk for cardiovascular disease.