Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Beetroot juice 'helps lower blood pressure': A glass a day can reduce it by 7%, say researchers (?)
There is no warrant that the small drop in BP observed will have ANY therapeutic effect
Drinking beetroot juice every day could help to lower blood pressure, say researchers. They found a dose of eight ounces – around one cup – may help people with high blood pressure, cutting their readings by about 7 per cent.
Tests suggest the effect is produced by beetroot’s naturally high levels of nitrate. High concentrations of nitrate are also found in celery, cabbage and other leafy green vegetables such as spinach and some lettuce.
Eating high-nitrate foods triggers a series of chemical reactions in the blood, which can increase oxygen in areas of the body which are specifically lacking supply.
The beetroot juice used in the study contained about 0.2g of dietary nitrate, levels found in a large bowl of lettuce or two beetroots.
Amrita Ahluwalia, lead author of the study and a professor of vascular pharmacology at The Barts and The London Medical School, said: ‘We were surprised by how little nitrate was needed to see such a large effect.
‘Our hope is that increasing one’s intake of vegetables with a high dietary nitrate content, such as green leafy vegetables or beetroot, might be a lifestyle approach that one could easily employ to improve cardiovascular health.’
Beetroot juice is found in most health food shops and usually costs around £2 a bottle.
An estimated 16million people in the UK have high blood pressure, including a third who do not know they have it, and it is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.
Changes in lifestyle, such as cutting down salt and alcohol and taking more exercise, may control blood pressure and there are a number of drug treatments available.
A high blood pressure reading is one that exceeds 140/90 mm Hg. The first figure, the systolic pressure, corresponds to the ‘surge’ that occurs with each heart beat.
The latest study recruited eight women and seven men with systolic pressure between 140 and 159 mm Hg who were not taking blood pressure drugs.
The participants drank 250ml of beetroot juice or water containing a low amount of nitrate, and had their blood pressure monitored for 24 hours, says a report in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.
Compared with those drinking water, people having beetroot juice cut their systolic pressure by about 10 mm Hg.
The effect was most pronounced three to six hours after drinking the juice but still present even 24 hours later.
Previous research has shown beetroot increases stamina, and can boost blood supply to vital areas of the brain.
Taste of beer makes you want more, research shows
As someone who greatly enjoys beer, I have no quarrel with the remarks below at all
BEER drinkers have long known the amber ale tastes good, but just a sip of the stuff provokes us with the urge to get drunk, research suggests.
A study by American scientists revealed the alcohol-related flavours in beer make the brain release dopamine, a pleasure hormone, which drives people to seek out more booze.
Scientists measured changes in dopamine release in 49 men - some with a family history of alcohol abuse - all with varied drinking habits, while they tasted very small amounts of beer. All the men tested said they wanted to keep drinking.
The researchers found the men with a history of alcohol abuse in their family released larger amounts of dopamine.
They concluded this could be the reason why these people were more likely to have an alcohol-related problem.
University of Sydney scientist Michael Bowen said the study revealed the taste of beer was enough to make people want to get intoxicated. "It's not just the alcohol that is resulting in this dopamine release - it is the taste of it," he said.
"Potentially these people (with a family history of alcohol abuse) have a greater potential to develop an alcohol abuse disorder down the track. "It will potentially drive you to consume greater levels of alcohol."
Mr Bowen said the reason why the researchers did not use wine or spirits in the study was because they needed to ensure the subjects were not drunk when they performed the tests.
Posted by jonjayray at 12:16 AM