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Study suggests beetroot could fight dementia

Study suggests beetroot could fight dementia
5th November 2010

New research has suggested that beetroot juice could help to slow the onset of dementia.

Scientists at Wake Forest University in North Carolina believe that the roots of the vegetable contain especially high levels of nitrates, which are converted by body bacteria by nitrites.

In turn this boosts the blood circulation and oxygen provision to the brain, which Wake Forest academics believe can keep the brain healthy and slow the onset of dementia in older people.

"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 the director of the Translational Science Center at Wake Forest University, Daniel Kim-Shapiro.

However, the NHS has urged caution with the research, citing the fact that Wake Forest's data comes from a very small study of just 13 people, conducted over a short period of time.

The health service suggests that a more comprehensive study is needed before the facts can be established.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes