Scientists team from Washington University inspired by their previous study on beet juice that athlete drink for better muscle performance, and found nitrate existing in the juice can be helpful in the treatment of heart failure.
Annually, about 17.3 million people die from heart failure in the world, being one of the leading causes of death; about 5.7 million people contract heart failure in United States alone, but before the finding no effective preventive measure was found.
Nitrate exists in a wide species of vegetables like spinach, beet and many other vegetables with leaves. However it’s richest in beet among the common plants. That’s why beet juice is listed as a recommendable drink for athletes.
Nitrate is an active natural compound and it normally changes into nitric oxide that is good to blood pressure at the first digestion stage of exercise. In the similar way of athletes benefiting from nitrate, heart failure patient will get a strengthened performance of heart muscle, and the pumping ability of heart will be improved.
Oxygen is needed in the process of converting nitrate into nitric oxide. Thus aerobic exercise will be a better accompany of nitrate intake to maximize the medical effect of the substance.
But how effective nitrate will be in the enhancement of heart muscle?
To answer this question, scientists conducted an experiment in a small range and the performance of nitrate was observed. Nine people were involved in the study, all of them were given nitrate treatment of beet juice, but some of them drank the placebo juice with no nitrate contained. Two hours after the drinking, the nine participants were asked to do some exercise. The patients who drank the beet juice containing nitrate got an increase about 13% in their power of muscle. And the other patients who took the beet juice with no nitrate got no improvement in muscle power.
And will a supplement form of nitrate take effects?
As there were a small number of people joined the experiment, no thorough result was got. Till present, the scientists investigated the effect of nitrate on healthy people, athlete, and heart failure patient. Elderly people will be the next group to be studied for the effect of nitrate. With more comprehensive evidence to prove that nitrate can be used as improvement measure for heart failure, there will be further studies on the bensefit of nitrate in supplement form.