Beetroot is considered a complementary treatment for hypertension because of its high content of inorganic NO3 This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to clarify several aspects of beetroot juice supplementation on systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). We searched PubMed, Scopus, and Embase databases, and the reference lists of previous reviews. Randomized clinical trials that investigated the effects of beetroot juice on resting blood pressure in humans were recruited for quality assessment, meta-analyses, subgroup analyses, and meta-regressions; of these, 22 were conducted between 2009 and 2017 and included a total of 47 intervention (n = 650) and 43 control (n = 598) groups. Overall, SBP (-3.55 mm Hg; 95% CI: -4.55, -2.54 mm Hg) and DBP (-1.32 mm Hg; 95% CI: -1.97, -0.68 mm Hg) were significantly lower in the beetroot juice-supplemented groups than in the control groups. The mean difference of SBP was larger between beetroot juice-supplemented and control groups in the longer than in the shorter (≥14 compared with <14 d) study durations (-5.11 compared with -2.67 mm Hg) and the highest compared with the lowest (500 compared with 70 and 140 mL/d) doses of beetroot juice (-4.78 compared with -2.37 mm Hg). A positive correlation was observed between beetroot juice doses and the mean differences of blood pressures. In contrast, a smaller effect size of blood pressures was observed after supplementation with higher NO3 (milligrams per 100 mL beetroot juice). A weak effect size was observed in a meta-analysis of trials that used NO3-depleted beetroot juice as a placebo compared with other interventions (-3.09 compared with -4.51 mm Hg for SBP and -0.81 compared with -2.01 mm Hg for DBP). Our results demonstrate the blood pressure-lowering effects of beetroot juice and highlight its potential NO3-independent effects.
Keywords: NO; beetroot; blood pressure; hypertension; nitrate.
© 2017 American Society for Nutrition.