Beetroot juice improves in overweight and slightly obese men postprandial endothelial function after consumption of a mixed meal

Atherosclerosis. 2013 Nov;231(1):78-83. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.09.001. Epub 2013 Sep 11.


Background: Through effects on nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability, endothelial function is improved after the intake of beetroot juice-which is rich in inorganic nitrate-, but decreased after the intake of a meal.

Objective: The objective of this study was to examine if beetroot juice could counteract the impairment of endothelial function associated with the ingestion of a mixed meal.

Methods: Twenty healthy overweight and slightly obese men with a BMI between 28 and 35 kg/m(2) received in random order a mixed meal providing 56.6 g of fat with beetroot juice or a control drink. The beetroot juice (140 mL) provided approximately 500 mg dietary nitrate. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery was measured before and 2 h after meal consumption. Blood was sampled at regular intervals.

Results: Postprandial changes in serum triacylglycerol (TAG) (P = 0.69), plasma glucose (P = 0.84) and insulin (P = 0.67) concentrations were comparable between the meals. After consumption of beetroot juice, the postprandial impairment in FMD following a standardized mixed meal was improved (P = 0.030) compared with the control drink (-0.37 ± 2.92% versus -1.56 ± 2.90%). Following beetroot juice consumption, plasma concentrations of the circulating NO pool were higher at T60, T120, and T240 (P < 0.001 at all time points).

Conclusion: In healthy overweight and slightly obese men a single dose of beetroot juice attenuates the postprandial impairment of FMD following a mixed meal, possibly through increases in plasma NO concentrations.

Keywords: Beetroot juice; Endothelial dysfunction; Flow-mediated dilation; Inorganic nitrate; Postprandial lipemia.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Beta vulgaris / chemistry*
  • Beverages*
  • Blood Flow Velocity / drug effects
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology*
  • Blood Glucose
  • Brachial Artery / physiopathology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrogen Oxides / blood
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Overweight / physiopathology*
  • Postprandial Period
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Vascular Stiffness / drug effects
  • Vasodilation / drug effects*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Nitrogen Oxides
  • Triglycerides