In a proof-of-concept study done by Indiana University beetroot juice supplements may help heart failure patients.
Beetroot Juice And Nitrate
The study looked at the impact of dietary nitrate in the form of beetroot juice supplements on the exercise capacity of 8 heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction. A reduced ejection fraction does not let the heart contract efficiently which results in a lack of oxygen-rich blood through the body. These people suffer from shortness of breath and a lack of energy.
The scientists found that those who took the beetroot supplement had significant increases in exercise duration, peak power, and peak oxygen uptake while exercises. However, these positive changes did not result in substantial improvements in their energy or changes in their breathing.
The Bottom Line
The addition of beetroot juice may be a very valuable addition to treatment for exercise intolerance in heart failure patients that experience reduced ejection fraction. More research is needed to determine if a longer term nitrate supplement will improve quality of life, physical activity levels, and even survival in these patients.