Beet­root juice beats al­ti­tude sick­ness

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle -

The next time you plan a high al­ti­tude trip, don’t for­get to carry a bot­tle of beet­root juice in your back­pack. Re­searchers have found that ni­trate-rich beet­root juice helps the body ac­cli­ma­tise bet­ter at high al­ti­tude, fur­ther beat­ing acute moun­tain sick­ness that’s caused by lower air pres­sures at high al­ti­tude.

“Beet­root juice may be the ex­tra boost that your body needs to de­liver enough oxy­gen to your tired mus­cles and keep you healthy when you are climb­ing a high moun­tain,” said the study’s cor­re­spond­ing author Svein Erik Gaus­tad, from Nor­we­gian Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy. The team of Nor­we­gian and Swedish re­searchers de­cided to see how ni­trate-rich beet juice might af­fect ac­cli­ma­ti­sa­tion on a 39-day ex­pe­di­tion to Kath­mandu and at 3,700 me­tres in the Rol­wal­ing Val­ley, Nepal. Pre­vi­ous re­search had shown that blood ves­sels tend to con­tract at high al­ti­tude, so re­searchers de­cided to see if they could im­prove blood ves­sel func­tion at high al­ti­tude sim­ply by hav­ing test sub­jects drink beet juice.

They mea­sured blood ves­sel func­tion with a stan­dard test of ar­te­rial en­dothe­lial func­tion, a flow-me­di­ated di­lata­tion test (FMD) that uses ul­tra­sound.

In the study the re­searchers showed that con­sump­tion of or­ganic ni­tra­terich beet juice re­stored re­duced blood ves­sel func­tion at high al­ti­tude. Par­tic­i­pants were in­ves­ti­gated af­ter drink­ing two types of beet juice with a 24-hour break be­tween tests.

The study showed that beet juice with high amounts of ni­trate made the blood ves­sels re­lax and re­turn to nor­mal func­tion.

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