Thursday, July 1, 2010

Beatroot Juice for Blood Pressure?

Not really sure that eating lots of nitrates to control blood pressure is a good idea. As the news item states the nitrates are converted to nitric oxide, which is very important in inducing relaxation of the blood vessel muscles, thereby reducing blood pressure. There are 3 major enzymes for producing nitric oxide, iNOS,nNOS,eNOS. i=inducible, typically associated with inflammatory events, n=neuronal, nitric oxide being very important for neural transmission, 3=endlothelial NOS, that which helps the blood vessels relax. Nitric oxide concentrations are tightly regulated and with good reason: it is a potent free radical. Nitrates are a substrate for boosting nitric oxide, perhaps generally, so while it may help with blood pressure it may also upset nitric oxide regulation, induce inflammation, cause free radical damage, and over activate the immune responses, thereby setting the stage for atherosclerosis ... . I suspect it would be better to focus on arginine intake(esp. vs. lysine?) and the let the body work it out. The effect in the below study was within 24 hours, which suggests a strong response. All the more reason to worry.

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