Beetroot juice could energise the elderly

Monday, December 20, 2010

LONDON - Beetroot juice could energise the elderly to lead more active lives, says a new study.

In tests, they required less energy to carry out low-intensity exercises after drinking the juice. The amount of effort it took to walk was reduced by 12 percent.

This could allow the elderly to carry out tasks they might not otherwise attempt, said the researchers from the Exeter University, Britain, reports the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Beetroot juice widens blood vessels and reduces the amount of oxygen needed by muscles during activity, according to the Daily Mail.

As people age, or if they develop conditions that affect the cardiovascular system, the amount of oxygen taken in during exercise can drop dramatically.

Katie Lansley from the Exeter University said: “What we’ve seen in this study is that beetroot juice can actually reduce the amount of oxygen you need to perform even low-intensity exercise.”

A team from Exeter and the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry gave subjects normal beetroot juice or juice with the nitrates removed.

Andy Jones from Exeter said: “Each time the normal, nitrate-rich juice was used, we saw a marked improvement in performance which wasn’t there with the filtered juice - so we know the nitrate is the active ingredient.”

Filed under: Medicine, World

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