There is one recent study and it discovers that a compound which is responsible for dilation of the blood vessels can reduce high blood pressure. The compound is dietary nitrate and it can lower the overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system which happens in case of a heart disease.

The team of the study comprised of Canadians actually was examining beetroot juice. Beet juice contains a lot of dietary nitrate and they wanted to make additional research of its usage like a future targeted treatment option for those who suffer from cardiovascular disease.

This was actually the first study that was studying the effects of nitrate supplementation on the activity of sympathetic nerve.

The activation of the sympathetic nervous system can be caused by raised sympathetic nerve activity and it includes raised heart rate, high blood pressure and also constriction of the blood vessels. The sympathetic nerve activity, also known as sympathetic outflow, can be increased with certain types of cardiovascular disease, such as heart failure and high blood pressure. This study wanted to prove that beet juice can reduce the muscle sympathetic outflow during exercising and resting, said the Canadian research team.

There were 2 separated testing visits and there were 27 volunteers with average age of 27 and they were given placebo or actual nitrate supplement. On the two visits, the research team tracked the heart rate, blood pressure and muscle sympathetic nerve activity and they also measured the muscle activity during exercising and rest. All measurements were recorded when the visit started and they were also re-measured once the volunteers drank the place or beetroot juice and after they were resting for 3 hours.

The rate of the muscle sympathetic nerve activity was even lower when the volunteers drank the beetroot juice when compared to the rate measured when they drank the placebo. The activity of the sympathetic nerve additionally decreased when they were exercising.

The fact that the blood pressure was the same when they rested or when they exercised was surprising as well. “It was proven that dietary nitrate supplementation is able to modulate the central sympathetic outflow and they are saying that the established cardiovascular benefits can easily involve a neural contribution.”

Reference:

  1. www.the-aps.org
  2. medicalxpress.com