Human Nutrition Research Centre


Effects of nitrate-rich vegetables on cardiovascular function

This study is a randomized, parallel food-based intervention to test the hypothesis that increased intake of nitrate-rich vegetables can reduce blood pressure and hence reduce cardiovascular risk.  In short-term studies in animals and humans, intake of nitrate in the form of vegetable juices and nitrate salts has been shown to be converted into NO which, through vasodilation, improves peripheral blood flow in brain and periphery, and reduces blood pressure. Vegetables are the dominant sources of (natural) dietary nitrate, with water, cured meats and cheeses being other minor sources in the diet.  The nitrate content of vegetables is very variable with some, such as leafy salad crops, containing 10-100 times higher amounts than others.  The study is testing whether for this specific group of leafy vegetables there are benefits on cardiovascular risk through improvements in vascular tone and reductions in blood pressure. This will inform the development of health strategies with achievable targets for intakes of specific vegetables.

For further information on this project please contact Professor Chris Seal

Collaborator Dr K Brandt, Senior Lecturer Agriculture, Food & Rural Development

Collaborator Professor JT O'Brien, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry Institute for Ageing & Health

Collaborator Professor GA Ford, Jacobson Chair of Clin Pharm Institute for Ageing & Health

Collaborator Dr PJ Avery, Senior Lecturer Mathematics & Statistics

Collaborator Professor PJ Moynihan, Prof of Nutrition & Oral Health Institute for Ageing & Health