Biological effects of red beetroot and betalains: A review

Phytother Res. 2020 Aug;34(8):1847-1867. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6653. Epub 2020 Mar 14.


Over the past few years, the use of natural substances as protective or therapeutic agents has gained much attention worldwide. Recent modern studies have shown a variety of health benefits for red beetroot and its active compounds betalains (also betanin) such as antioxidative, anti-inflammation, anticancer, blood pressure and lipid lowering, also antidiabetic and anti-obesity effects. Betanin, the main component of the red beetroot, is a betalain glycosidic pigment, which is used as a food additive. This review summarizes findings in the literature and shows the therapeutic potential of red beetroot and its active compounds (betalains) as promising alternatives for supplemental therapies in multiple diseases.

Keywords: betalain; betanin; pharmacological effects; red beetroot.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Beta vulgaris / chemistry*
  • Betalains / pharmacology
  • Betalains / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Rats
  • Vegetables / chemistry*


  • Betalains