A new study suggests that drinking beetroot juice, which is rich in inorganic nitrate, can alter the balance of bacteria in the mouth in favor of species that promote better cognitive and cardiovascular health.
The findings of this study help explain the proven benefits of beetroot juice for lowering blood pressure in people with hypertension. Other vegetables that contain a lot of nitrates, including cabbage, lettuce, spinach, and celery, could offer similar benefits.
Scientists at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom led the research, which features in the journal Redox Biology. “We are really excited about these findings, which have important implications for healthy aging,” says lead author Prof. Anni Vanhatalo. “Maintaining this healthy oral microbiome in the long term might slow down the negative vascular and cognitive changes associated with aging,” she adds.
On average, the participants’ systolic blood pressure fell by 5 millimeters of mercury after 10 days of drinking nitrate-rich beetroot juice. In addition, the tests indicated a greater availability of nitric oxide in their blood.
The authors propose that these nitrate-sensitive oral bacteria would make suitable probiotics to redress age-related declines in cardiovascular and cognitive health.
Source: Medical News Today
Source: Science Daily