Impact of dietary nitrate supplementation via beetroot juice on exercising muscle vascular control in rats

Full text for this resource is not available from the Research Repository.

Ferguson, Scott K, Hirai, Daniel M, Copp, Steven W, Holdsworth, Clark T, Allen, Jason, Jones, Andrew M, Musch, Timothy I and Poole, David C (2012) Impact of dietary nitrate supplementation via beetroot juice on exercising muscle vascular control in rats. The Journal of Physiology, 591 (2). pp. 547-557. ISSN 0022-3751 (print) 1469-7793 (online)


Dietary nitrate (NO3−) supplementation, via its reduction to nitrite (NO2−) and subsequent conversion to nitric oxide (NO) and other reactive nitrogen intermediates, reduces blood pressure and the O2 cost of submaximal exercise in humans. Despite these observations, the effects of dietary NO3− supplementation on skeletal muscle vascular control during locomotory exercise remain unknown. We tested the hypotheses that dietary NO3− supplementation via beetroot juice (BR) would reduce mean arterial pressure (MAP) and increase hindlimb muscle blood flow in the exercising rat. Male Sprague–Dawley rats (3–6 months) were administered either NO3− (via beetroot juice; 1 mmol kg−1 day−1, BR n = 8) or untreated (control, n = 11) tap water for 5 days. MAP and hindlimb skeletal muscle blood flow and vascular conductance (radiolabelled microsphere infusions) were measured during submaximal treadmill running (20 m min−1, 5% grade). BR resulted in significantly lower exercising MAP (control: 137 ± 3, BR: 127 ± 4 mmHg, P < 0.05) and blood [lactate] (control: 2.6 ± 0.3, BR: 1.9 ± 0.2 mm, P < 0.05) compared to control. Total exercising hindlimb skeletal muscle blood flow (control: 108 ± 8, BR: 150 ± 11 ml min−1 (100 g)−1, P < 0.05) and vascular conductance (control: 0.78 ± 0.05, BR: 1.16 ± 0.10 ml min−1 (100 g)−1 mmHg−1, P < 0.05) were greater in rats that received BR compared to control. The relative differences in blood flow and vascular conductance for the 28 individual hindlimb muscles and muscle parts correlated positively with their percentage type IIb + d/x muscle fibres (blood flow: r = 0.74, vascular conductance: r = 0.71, P < 0.01 for both). These data support the hypothesis that NO3− supplementation improves vascular control and elevates skeletal muscle O2 delivery during exercise predominantly in fast-twitch type II muscles, and provide a potential mechanism by which NO3− supplementation improves metabolic control.

Dimensions Badge

Altmetric Badge

Item type Article
DOI 10.1113/jphysiol.2012.243121
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 0606 Physiology
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords dietary supplements, nitric oxide, blood pressure, skeletal muscle, exercising
Citations in Scopus 232 - View on Scopus
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login