Comparisons can make for interesting studies, especially when the people tested have significant age differences. When older people come out on top, the results can seem even more impressive. Such is the case when researchers in New Zealand and Thailand conducted a 2019 study examining the effects of nitrate-rich beetroot juice.
Volunteers were chosen from two age groups: 18-30 years old and 50-70 years old. All were healthy and recreationally active individuals, but none of the participants were well-trained sportspersons or elite athletes. Nor did they use nitrate-based supplements.
For the study, participants consumed beet juice 2.25 hours before walking 30 minutes on a treadmill. Throughout the trial, they were tested for blood nitrate and nitrite concentrations, heart rate, blood pressure, mood, perception and cognition.
Drinking beet juice significantly increased blood nitrate (NO3) and nitrite (NO2), which convert to nitric oxide (NO). Nitrate levels were higher in the older group, due to an expected age-related decrease in nitric oxide activity.
Beet juice also reduced systolic blood pressure for all ages. Older participants showed a greater reduction in diastolic blood pressure.
Reaction time improved equally for all ages and no differences were observed between age groups in the other cognitive tests.
The study concluded that supplementation with beetroot juice can reduce blood pressure and improve cognitive aspects, providing potential health benefits for young and old.
Of course, AIM Members of all ages have been enjoying the health benefits of supplementing with beet juice ever since the introduction of RediBeets back in 1993.
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