Beetroot and the heart

Dietary nitrate, a compound found in beetroot juice, dilates blood vessels to decrease blood pressure.

Now researchers have found that it may reduce overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system that occurs with heart disease.

Putting beetroot to the test

For the study, 20 young adult volunteers (average age: 27) either received a nitrate supplement or a placebo.

Researchers found that muscle sympathetic nerve activity burst rate, denoting the frequency of nerve activity, was lower when the volunteers drank beetroot juice compared to when they drank the placebo.

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Sympathetic nerve activity also decreased during exercise.

Source: American Physiological Society (APS) via www.sciencedaily.com

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