Can't Beet It

Beetroot juice has been shown to boost physiological health of the elderly or those with heart and lung conditions

(RxWiki News) Beetroot juice has been shown to boost the physiological health of the elderly or those with heart and lung conditions, according to a new study.

In sports science, beetroot juice is something of a most valuable player (MVP) with recent research suggesting it enables people to exercise for up to 16 percent longer. New research from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry points to added health benefits for those who aren't tearing up the track or blazing basketball courts.

The researchers looked at the juice's effects on low-intensity exercise and found that individuals used less oxygen while walking, reducing the effort it took to walk by some 12 percent.

"As you get older, or if you have conditions which affect your cardiovascular system, the amount of oxygen you can take in to use during exercise drops considerably," said Katie Lansley, a PhD student from the university's Sport and Health Sciences department and lead author of the study, "This means that, for some people, even simple tasks like walking may not be manageable."

The study found that beetroot juice also widens blood vessels, allowing for more blood flow and reduced blood pressure, and reduced the amount of oxygen needed for muscles during activity.

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Review Date: 
December 20, 2010