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Beet Juice Strengthens Muscles In Heart Failure Patients

September 16, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists have shown that the nitrates in leafy green vegetables improve muscle performance in athletes. Now a new U.S. study shows that drinking nitrate-rich concentrated beet juice boosts muscle power in heart failure patients. The small clinical study involved nine patients with heart failure who drank beet juice and were tested two hours later. Patients showed a 13 percent increase in power in muscles that extend the knee, with the most benefit when muscles moved at a high velocity. The findings are important because many daily activities are power-based (e.g., lifting groceries, climbing stairs) and have a major impact on quality of life. “In general,” the researchers said, “physically more powerful people live longer."
Andrew R. Coggan et al., "Acute Dietary Nitrate Intake Improves Muscle Contractile Function in Patients With Heart Failure", CLINICAL PERSPECTIVE. Circulation: Heart Failure, September 16, 2015, © American Heart Association, Inc.
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