A daily glass of beetroot juice could reduce harmful inflammation in people with coronary heart disease, according to new research.
Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, the most common cause of heart attacks and the single biggest killer of both and men and women worldwide.
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.
“Inflammation is vital to protect the body from injury and infection,” said Dr Asad Shabbir, clinical research fellow at Queen Mary University of London, which led the research. “However, in people with coronary heart disease persistent inflammation can exacerbate the furring of the arteries, making their condition worse and increasing their risk of a heart attack.
“Our research suggests that a daily glass of beetroot juice could be one way to get inorganic nitrate into our diet to help to interrupt harmful inflammation.” The research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) was presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester.
Researchers investigated whether a daily beetroot juice high in inorganic nitrate would increase levels of nitric oxide, and whether this would affect inflammation.