November 02, 2010
Beet Juice Boosts Blood Brain Flow In Older Adults

Beet juice for the brain.

Winston-Salem, N.C. Researchers for the first time have shown that drinking beet juice can increase blood flow to the brain in older adults a finding that could hold great potential for combating the progression of dementia.

The research findings are available online in Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry, the peer-reviewed journal of the Nitric Oxide Society and will be available in print soon. (Read the abstract.)

"There have been several very high-profile studies showing that drinking beet juice can lower blood pressure, but we wanted to show that drinking beet juice also increases perfusion, or blood flow, to the brain," said Daniel Kim-Shapiro, director of Wake Forest University's Translational Science Center; Fostering Independence in Aging. "There are areas in the brain that become poorly perfused as you age, and that's believed to be associated with dementia and poor cognition."

I wonder whether this is the best way to achieve better brain blood flow. Would a better diet avoid constriction of blood vessels that the nitrites are opening? What are the downsides to consuming so much nitrates?

The high-nitrate diet improved blood flow to the frontal lobes.

The MRIs showed that after eating a high-nitrate diet, the older adults had increased blood flow to the white matter of the frontal lobes the areas of the brain commonly associated with degeneration that leads to dementia and other cognitive conditions.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 November 02 11:23 PM  Aging Diet Brain Studies

flataffect said at November 3, 2010 2:38 PM:

Just the brain?

Bad Science said at November 3, 2010 3:28 PM:

The study results are really hopeful, any idea when the real science is going to be done? Or is this doomed to the battling studies theater of cell phone radiation and coffee fame?

Theo Richel said at November 3, 2010 4:04 PM:

The abstract gives no numbers about the difference percentagewise of increased blood flow or whether the difference was significant. It then probably isnt.

Bruce said at November 3, 2010 8:31 PM:

"Beet Juice Boosts Blood Brain Flow" - I'm skeptical about the science, but this is as good a tongue-twister as I've ever encountered.

Paul Atreides said at November 3, 2010 9:59 PM:

So all those Mentats with their red-stained lips were onto something after all! Who knew?

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