Studies show that a glass of beetroot juice can help those with coronary heart disease.

New research suggests that a daily glass of beetroot juice reduces harmful inflammation by boosting nitric oxide levels, helping those with coronary heart disease. People with the condition have lower levels of nitric oxide, which is produced naturally by the body and is vital for good health. In addition to its role in regulating blood pressure, it has important anti-inflammatory effects.

Studying 114 healthy volunteers, 78 received a typhoid vaccine to temporarily increase inflammation in their blood vessels, while 36 were given a cream to create a small blister on their skin – producing more localised inflammation.

The volunteers drank 140ml of beetroot juice every morning for seven days. Half drank juice high in nitrate while the other half drank juice that had the nitrate removed.

In the group given the typhoid vaccine, those who drank the nitrate-rich beetroot juice had higher levels of markers of nitric oxide in their blood, urine, and saliva compared with those that consumed the juice with the nitrate removed.

The high nitrate juice also appeared to restore the function of the endothelium, the cells that line the inside of all blood vessels. The endothelium is crucial to keep blood vessels functioning normally, but this is lost in inflammation.

Researchers also found that blisters healed more quickly in the group that drank the nitrate-rich beetroot juice, and the numbers of inflammatory white blood cells in fluid samples taken from their blisters were lower after three days.

The researchers believe the increased levels of nitric oxide helped to speed up how quickly the volunteers were able to recover from inflammation by switching key immune cells from a state that promotes inflammation to a more anti-inflammatory state. They suggest this could have benefits for millions of people with coronary heart disease.

Story sourced from The Guardian

First published in The Wellness Room magazine