We were asked a question about beetroot and its effect on blood pressure earlier today. This as stimulated by an article by ‘Dr Know’ in the Sunday Times (click here). This reported:

“Bizarrely, recent medical research backs this theory up. A study from Barts and the London School of Medicine showed that drinking 500ml of beetroot juice a day significantly reduced blood pressure levels in healthy volunteers. This benefit occurred within an hour of drinking it and was more pronounced after four hours; a degree of reduction continued to be observed for up to 24 hours.

The key beneficial ingredient appears to be nitrate, typically found in leafy green vegetables. Although the quantity consumed in this trial is more than most people would probably wish to ingest every day, it is likely some benefit still occurs if smaller quantities are drunk or indeed eaten.”

However, our search for the evidence highlighted an entry in TRIP Answers “What is the evidence of beetroot juice to lower blood pressure?“. This included the following:

“The study was very small and therefore should be repeated in more people.

It was conducted in healthy volunteers and should be repeated in people with hypertension or at increased risk of heart attacks.

Long-term beneficial effects of beetroot juice were not investigated, nor were any potential harms measured.”

The Sunday Times gracefully published my comment!