With nearly 500 years of festivity for beet juice it may be fun to look at some interesting contradiction as we see as well in the great webinar presented to us. I like to show 2 interesting papers with a very different take on the option of beet juice and its effectiveness. I highlighted them red in the text
To beet or not to beet? Researchers test theories of beet juice benefits
By Marjorie S. Miller
January 19, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Athletes who down beet juice before exercising to increase blood flow and improve performance may be surprised at the results of a recent study conducted at Penn State's Noll Laboratory. While beetroot juice rich in nitrates did not enhance muscle blood flow or vascular dilation during exercise, researchers found that it did "de-stiffen" blood vessels under resting conditions, potentially easing the workload of the heart.
Endurance athletes have been known to consume the crimson supplement based on the belief that it may improve blood and oxygen flow in their muscles during training and competition. Some strength and power athletes consume it in hopes that it can improve their ability to withstand muscle fatigue during repeated bouts of high intensity exercise. Now, some patients are asking their doctors if they should drink the juice to lower their high blood pressure.
Those potential benefits are what prompted David Proctor, professor ofkinesiology and physiology at Penn State, to test the ability of the juice to enhance blood flow to exercising muscles.
Proctor, with other researchers, found that the widely held belief regarding improved muscle blood flow did not hold up to their test. They report their results in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.
Proctor and his colleagues gave subjects either a placebo drink containing beetroot juice minus the nitrate or a relatively high dose of nitrate-rich beetroot juice. They found that the latter did not enhance the natural rise in blood flow to the forearm muscles during graded handgrip exercise.
"Beetroot juice also had no effect on the dilation (widening) of the brachial artery in these volunteers," said lead author and Penn State physiology graduate student Jin-Kwang Kim.
Nitrates, found in highest concentrations in leafy green vegetables such as spinach and beetroot, are converted naturally in the body to nitric oxide, a molecule that relaxes and widens blood vessels and affects how efficiently cells use oxygen. A number of manufacturers have found ways to liquefy beetroots and concentrate the nitrate into beetroot juice "shots."
"Although several studies have reported indirect evidence of improved muscle oxygenation during exercise after consuming nitrate-rich supplements such as beetroot juice, none of these studies directly measured blood flow to the contracting muscles," Proctor said. "Our study was the first to directly test this possibility in humans."
"The absence of any direct effect on forearm muscle blood flow or artery dilator function was not due to a lack of absorption of the supplement into the blood stream," Proctor added.
"Measurements of the breakdown product of the nitrate in the participants' blood indicated that these participants absorbed the nitrate from the drink and converted it to nitrite, the precursor to nitric oxide," Proctor said.
The investigators also observed a direct correlation between nitrite levels in the blood and the slowing of participants' arterial pulsation velocity, an indication that the supplement did indeed have a biological (artery de-stiffening) effect.
"However, there are circumstances unique to our experimental design that should be considered, as with any study, before drawing any broad conclusions," Proctor said. "We speculate that the null effects on muscle blood flow observed in this first study resulted from two factors."
"Subjects were young individuals with blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the 'very healthy' range, he noted. "Therefore, the lack of improvement in muscle blood flow and vessel function following nitrate supplementation could result from the fact that these subjects had well-preserved vascular endothelial function to begin with."
"A second contributor could be the relatively small range of forearm exercise intensities we examined in this study."
"It is possible that any blood flow enhancing effect of dietary nitrate will only be apparent during higher intensity and fatiguing work intensities; conditions within the muscle that favor the conversion of nitrite to nitric oxide," Proctor said.
Building on this study, Proctor and his colleagues are currently conducting an investigation of the effects of beet juice/nitrate supplementation on vascular function in older adults, including those with elevated blood pressure and impaired muscle blood flow during exercise.
Penny Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, contributed to the study, as did Ann C. Skulas-Ray, research associate in nutritional sciences. Additional authors include David J. Moore, of Penn State'sIntercollege Graduate Degree Program in Physiology; David G. Maurer, a graduate student in Penn State's Department of Kinesiology; Michael P. Flanagan, of Penn State Hershey College of Medicine; and Swati Basu and Daniel B. Kim-Shapiro, professors in the department of physics at Wake Forest University. The Social Sciences Research Institute at Penn State funded this study.
Now many of the studeis of this university are based on the classical ideas of limitations and VO2 and lactate are dominate in most studies.
Now read the next one : Now this group and the two names may sound very familiar as we just had a great summary by Joyner about the fact that there is no such thing like anaerobic and more and Calbet did some major research in the sleeping giant and control of BP due to CO limitation Read and think and have fun. I will be back later oin some interesting studies on vasodilatation substances and why limiter and compensator are a greeat tool to see, whether it at least theoretical could work or due to certain limitations not at all. What do we look for what limiter would not allow any effect on vasodilatation. ?
Disparity in regional and systemic circulatory capacities: do they affect the regulation of the circulation?
Calbet JA, Joyner MJ.
- Department of Physical Education, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Campus Universitario de Tafira s/n, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. email@example.com
In this review we integrate ideas about regional and systemic circulatory capacities and the balance between skeletal muscle blood flow and cardiac output during heavy exercise in humans. In the first part of the review we discuss issues related to the pumping capacity of the heart and the vasodilator capacity of skeletal muscle. The issue is that skeletal muscle has a vast capacity to vasodilate during exercise [approximately 300 mL (100 g)(-1) min(-1)], but the pumping capacity of the human heart is limited to 20-25 L min(-1) in untrained subjects and approximately 35 L min(-1) in elite endurance athletes. This means that when more than 7-10 kg of muscle is active during heavy exercise, perfusion of the contracting muscles must be limited or mean arterial pressure will fall. In the second part of the review we emphasize that there is an interplay between sympathetic vasoconstriction and metabolic vasodilation that limits blood flow to contracting muscles to maintain mean arterial pressure. Vasoconstriction in larger vessels continues while constriction in smaller vessels is blunted permitting total muscle blood flow to be limited but distributed more optimally. This interplay between sympathetic constriction and metabolic dilation during heavy whole-body exercise is likely responsible for the very high levels of oxygen extraction seen in contracting skeletal muscle. It also explains why infusing vasodilators in the contracting muscles does not increase oxygen uptake in the muscle. Finally, when approximately 80% of cardiac output is directed towards contracting skeletal muscle modest vasoconstriction in the active muscles can evoke marked changes in arterial pressure.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]