Nitrate-rich fruit and vegetable extracts show BP benefits for healthy men

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / pkstock
© Getty Images / pkstock
Supplements containing nitrate-rich extracts from beetroot, celery stem and leaf, and red spinach leaf may help reduce blood pressure in young men with normal blood pressure, says a new study.

The commercial dietary supplement AMPED NOx by Isagenix International LLC was found to increase plasma levels of the potent vasodilator nitric oxide (NO), a compound that primarily dilates blood vessels and improves blood flow. The nitrate-rich fruit and vegetable liquid supplement also reduced diastolic blood pressure after two weeks, according to findings published in Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism​.

However, no significant impacts were observed for FMD (flow-mediated dilation, a measure of a blood vessel's healthy ability to relax), mood, or sleep, report researchers from Arizona State University and Isagenix International. Isagenix funded the study.

“While the implications of these results will require further evaluation, this study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that even small amounts of dietary nitrates may be an effective nutritional strategy to regulate healthy diastolic blood pressure and provide cardioprotection,” ​they wrote.

Study details

Interest in boosting nitric oxide has increased in recent years with nitrate-rich beetroot, for example, gaining a lot of attention, particularly in the sports nutrition realm.

Beetroot © Getty Images zeleno
The liquid supplement used in the study was based on beetroot, celery stem and leaf, and red spinach leaf. Image © Getty Images / zeleno

The AMPED NOx supplement is formulated to contain between 240 and 280 mg of nitrates per two-ounce (60 mL) serving. According to background information in the journal article, the supplement contains a “proprietary blend of nitrate-rich extracts from beetroot (​Beta vulgaris), celery stem and leaf (​Apium graveolens), and red spinach leaf (​Amaranthus dubius).”​ The supplement also contains stevia, plus a blend of fruit and vegetable extracts, including green tea leaf, red grape, white grape, bilberry, carrot, grapefruit, papaya, pineapple, strawberry, apple, apricot, cherry, orange, broccoli, green cabbage leaf, onion, garlic, black current, asparagus, tomato, olive, and cucumber.

Forty-five healthy men between the age of 18 and 40 were randomly assigned to receive the AMPED NOx supplement twice per day, or a prune juice control for two weeks.

Results showed that, compared to the control group, participants in the nitrate-rich supplement group experienced increases in plasma nitrates and nitrites of 67%, while diastolic blood pressure decreased by an average of 9% over the 14 days.

On the other hand, no significant differences between the groups were reported for FMD, sleep quality or total mood state.

“Blood pressure levels are a strong predictor of both vascular and nonvascular diseases, and their predictive power for vascular disease is stronger than that for blood cholesterol concentration or cigarette use,”​ wrote the researchers. “Hence, the value of identifying strategies to lower blood pressure is clear. Recent meta-analyses support the efficacy of low-calorie diets, low-sodium diets, low-sodium/high potassium diets, and vegetarian diets for reducing blood pressure, with mean reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures in the ranges of 5–8 mmHg and 2–4 mmHg, respectively.

“In the current study, diastolic blood pressure fell 5 mmHg for participants in the FVS group, a change that has been associated with a 20–30% reduction in risk for coronary heart disease.

“The daily consumption of a dietary supplement, e.g., 2 ounces of a nitrate-rich fruit and vegetable extract as used in this trial, may be easier to implement and have higher adherence rates than the more comprehensive diet change required for reducing calories or sodium in the diet.”

Source: Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2018, Article ID 1729653, doi: 10.1155/2018/1729653
“Nitrate-Rich Fruit and Vegetable Supplement Reduces Blood Pressure in Normotensive Healthy Young Males without Significantly Altering Flow-Mediated Vasodilation: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Controlled Trial”
Authors: K.L. Sweazea et al.

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