Dietary nitrate in the form of daily beetroot juice significantly reduced elevated blood pressure compared with placebo in hypertensive patients over 4 weeks, a randomized phase 2 trial showed.
Dr Vikas Kapil (Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK) and colleagues observed significant reductions in systolic and diastolic BP as measured in the clinic, at home, or by ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) among patients who who drank 250 mL of the juice daily, for a nitrate dosage of approximately 6.4 mmol/day. The same amount of nitrate-depleted beetroot juice served as the placebo.
Improvements in endothelial function and a reduction in arterial stiffness were also observed in the dietary-nitrate group compared with no change in either parameter in placebo controls.
“This is the first evidence of durable BP reduction with dietary-nitrate supplementation in a relevant patient group,” Kapil writes. “And these findings suggest a role for dietary nitrate as an affordable, readily available adjunctive treatment in the management of patients with hypertension.”
The study, a prospective, single-center, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving 64 evaluable patients, was published online November 24, 2014 in Hypertension.
“Irrespective of the method of measurement, the magnitude of BP reduction is of clinical significance because it resembles the average BP reduction achieved with a single antihypertensive medication at standard dose (9.1/5.5 mm Hg),” the authors state. Reviewed and posted by Dr. Russell