January 4th, 2011
By: John Phillip
The results of a new study published in the journal Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry shows the impact of beetroot juice on brain health. Researchers already know that beetroot juice is beneficial to heart health as it effectively lowers blood pressure. A new study demonstrated the extract could be used as an agent to improve oxygen flow to the aging brain and to improve cognitive decline.
Nitrates in Beetroot Juice Relax Aging Arteries
Healthy blood flow to the brain declines with age as the vascular endothelium begins to harden and normal flexibility is lost. The heart needs to beat faster and harder to pump the same volume of blood, and normal oxygen supply is reduced. These are known risk factors for the onset of dementia as well as stroke.
Beetroot juice is high in natural nitrates that turn into nitrite and help to relax and open aging blood vessels that supply the brain. More blood flow corresponds to improved oxygenation, improved memory and the ability to learn and retain recent events.
Blood Flow to the Brain Improved with Beetroot Juice
The study conducted at Wake Forest University`s Translational Science Center included 14 adults aged 70 and over for a period of 4 days. Participants were broken into two groups and provided with a diet high in nitrates (from beetroot juice and leafy green vegetables) or a traditional diet without nitrates. The next day blood was drawn to determine nitrite saturation levels and an MRI was performed to check for blood flow to the brain. Participant diets were switched on subsequent days and the tests were repeated.
Study Concludes Beetroot Juice Improves Blood Flow and Cognition
Test results indicated that blood flow to the critical front lobe white matter was increased as a result of the diet high in nitrates from beetroot juice. No change was seen when a traditional diet was provided. The study authors concluded: “Our results support the proposal that oral nitrate therapy may be beneficial in treating cognitive decline that is often observed with aging. Towards that end, we show a direct effect of dietary nitrate on cerebral blood flow within the subcortical and deep white matter of the frontal lobes.”
Increasing blood flow and oxygenation is essential to prevent the cognitive decline that is so prevalent in the aging population. Half of those people at age 80 will experience some form of dementia or vascular disorder. Research continues to confirm that a natural diet including foods such as beetroot juice can help to improve cognition and allow people to age naturally.
December 30th, 2010
The woman who made national headlines for her near-naked protest at the airport in Oklahoma City is back and once again banned from flying.
A YouTube video put Tammy Banovac in the national spotlight. Banovac says she went through security wearing next-to-nothing, to protest new security rules at airports nationwide.
Banovac was back at the Will Rogers Airport Tuesday and once again, security says she can’t board her flight back home to Phoenix.
Last month security denied her access because they said they found traces of nitrate somewhere on her body.
Now, it’s something near her bottom that is raising a red flag.
“The stated reason was there was… They were unable to clear an unusual contour of my buttocks area,” said Banovac.
Tammy wouldn’t say what the unusual contour was, but says she’s sleeping at the airport. She was told she would be allowed to board her flight home Wednesday morning.
July, 19 2010
By: S.L. Baker
The vegetable known as the beetroot in Great Britain (and usually called the table beet, garden beet, red beet or just plain beet in the U.S.) has been studied in recent years for its health-building properties. For example, scientists have found it is rich in the nutrient betaine, which reduces the blood concentration of homocycsteine, a substance linked to heart disease and stroke. Now a study just published in the American Heart Association’s Hypertension journal concludes drinking beet juice lowers high blood pressure quickly and effectively — and could be a natural approach to helping prevent cardiovascular problems.
British scientists at the Queen Mary University of London found that drinking beet juice lowered blood pressure to healthy levels within 24 hours. In fact, it was just as effective as prescription nitrate tables in treating hypertension. In a previous study two years ago, the same research team had first observed that drinking beetroot juice lowered blood pressure — now they’ve figured out exactly why.
It turns out that the organic form of nitrate found in beet juice is the key to its blood pressure lowering benefits. Study author Amrita Ahluwalia, Professor of Vascular Biology at Queen Mary’s William Harvey Research Institute, said the investigators were able to prove the nitrate was the cause of beet juice’s beneficial effects on cardiovascular health because they showed beet nitrate increased levels of the gas nitric oxide in the circulation. Nitric oxide is a type of biological messenger in the body. It signals smooth muscle tissue to relax, induces vasodilation and increases blood flow, leading to a lower blood pressure.
“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,” Professor Ahluwalia said in a statement to the press. “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. We also found that only a small amount of juice is needed — just 250ml — to have this effect, and that the higher the blood pressure at the start of the study the greater the decrease caused by the nitrate.”
“The research will be welcome news to people with high blood pressure who might now be able to use a new ‘natural’ approach to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease (including stroke and heart attacks) — the world’s biggest killer,” the researchers added in the media statement.
December 2, 2009
By Paul Louis
A report based on data from 12 pooled cohort studies on heavy meat diets was led by Dagfinn Aune from the University of Oslo and published in the journal Diabetologia. The study determined that the high intake of processed meat may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 41 percent.
This new meta-analysis was conducted jointly from Norway and the US. The general conclusions of the study suggested that: “High intake of total meat increased the risk of diabetes by 17 percent, while red meat and processed meat were associated with 21 and 41 percent increases in diabetes risk.”
One of the primary purposes of this study was to resolve, ” . . . inconsistencies from previous studies which found both positive and negative associations between meat consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes.”
Barry Popkin from the University of North Carolina described the study as “excellent’ and he went on to say that it “reiterates the concerns echoed in other major reviews and studies on the adverse effects of excessive meat intake”.
The higher rate of diabetes risk from processed meats can be attributed to the nitrates used as preservatives. Other studies have documented that nitrates cause beta cell toxicity. Beta cells are involved with the production of insulin. Consequently, their ability to produce insulin is blocked by nitrate induced toxicity.
Animal model studies proved that low doses of nitrosamine streptozotocin induced type 2 diabetes. Nitrosamines are formed by the nitrates interacting with amino acids in the stomach.
Earlier studies have documented negative health consequences with heavy meat eating. The US National Cancer Institute (NCI) has warned that “. . . high intakes of red and processed meats may raise the risk of lung and colorectal cancer by up to 20 percent.” And the World Cancer Research Fund has reported a direct link to cancer with alcohol, red and processed meats. They also found that heavy red and processed meat eaters risked earlier death.
August 6, 2009
Drinking beetroot juice boosts stamina and could help people exercise for up to 16% longer, a UK study suggests.
A University of Exeter team found nitrate contained in the vegetable leads to a reduction in oxygen uptake – making exercise less tiring.
The small Journal of Applied Physiology study suggests the effect is greater than that which can be achieved by regular training.
Beetroot juice has previously been shown to reduce blood pressure.
The researchers believe their findings could help people with cardiovascular, respiratory or metabolic diseases – and endurance athletes.
They focused on eight men aged 19-38, who were given 500ml per day of organic beetroot juice for six consecutive days before completing a series of tests, involving cycling on an exercise bike.
On another occasion, they were given a placebo of blackcurrant cordial for six consecutive days before completing the same cycling tests.
After drinking beetroot juice the group was able to cycle for an average of 11.25 minutes – 92 seconds longer than when they were given the placebo.
This would translate into an approximate 2% reduction in the time taken to cover a set distance.
The group that had consumed the beetroot juice also had lower resting blood pressure.
The researchers are not yet sure of the exact mechanism that causes the nitrate in the beetroot juice to boost stamina.
However, they suspect it could be a result of the nitrate turning into nitric oxide in the body, reducing how much oxygen is burned up by exercise.
Study researcher Professor Andy Jones – an adviser to top UK athlete Paula Radcliffe – said: “We were amazed by the effects of beetroot juice on oxygen uptake because these effects cannot be achieved by any other known means, including training.
“I am sure professional and amateur athletes will be interested in the results of this research.
“I am also keen to explore the relevance of the findings to those people who suffer from poor fitness and may be able to use dietary supplements to help them go about their daily lives.”
Professor John Brewer, an expert on sports science at the University of Bedfordshire, said: “These findings are potentially exciting for many people involved in sport and exercise, but will almost certainly require further more extensive studies before the exact benefits and mechanisms are understood.
“We must also remember that exercise and training and a sensible diet will always remain as the essential ingredients for a balanced and healthy lifestyle.”
Dr Simon Marshall, of the University of San Diego, has carried out work on exercise and health.
He said much more work was needed involving many more subjects to draw firm conclusions.
“Certainly, a diet high in nitrate-rich fruits and vegetables is good for your heart health and this study provides further evidence of this.”