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Review
, 7 (4), 2801-22

The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease

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Review

The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease

Tom Clifford et al. Nutrients.

Abstract

In recent years there has been a growing interest in the biological activity of red beetroot (Beta vulgaris rubra) and its potential utility as a health promoting and disease preventing functional food. As a source of nitrate, beetroot ingestion provides a natural means of increasing in vivo nitric oxide (NO) availability and has emerged as a potential strategy to prevent and manage pathologies associated with diminished NO bioavailability, notably hypertension and endothelial function. Beetroot is also being considered as a promising therapeutic treatment in a range of clinical pathologies associated with oxidative stress and inflammation. Its constituents, most notably the betalain pigments, display potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chemo-preventive activity in vitro and in vivo. The purpose of this review is to discuss beetroot's biological activity and to evaluate evidence from studies that specifically investigated the effect of beetroot supplementation on inflammation, oxidative stress, cognition and endothelial function.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Overview of potentially bioactive compounds in beetroot (based on data from [1,2,20]).
Figure 2
Figure 2
A comparison of the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH•) inhibiting capacity (%) exhibited by 10 popular fruit and vegetable beverages available in the UK (values based on data from [56,57]).
Figure 3
Figure 3
The free radical antioxidant power (FRAP) of 10 commercially available fruit and vegetable beverages post a simulated in vitro model of human digestion (values based on data from [56,57]).
Figure 4
Figure 4
Illustration of the inflammatory cascade in response to cellular attack and possible pathways where betalains may exhibit inhibitory effects. PGF2, Prostaglandin F2; PGE2, Prostaglandin E2; COX ½, Cyclooxygenase 1 and 2; LOX, lipoxygenase; LOX-5, 5-lipoxygenase; LOX-12, 12- lipoxygenase; HOCI, Hypochlorous acid; OH•, Hydroxyl radical; NF-κB, Nuclear Factor-Kappa B; AP-1, Activator protein 1; IL-6, Interleukin-6; IL-8, Interleukin-8; IL-1β, Interleukin-1 beta; TNF-α, tumour necrosis factor-alpha.

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