Indexed on: 28 Jan '16Published on: 28 Jan '16Published in: Current Hypertension Reports
Nitric oxide (NO), a potent vasodilator critical in maintaining vascular homeostasis, can reduce blood pressure in vivo. Loss of constitutive NO generation, for example as a result of endothelial dysfunction, occurs in many pathological conditions, including hypertension, and contributes to disease pathology. Attempts to therapeutically deliver NO via organic nitrates (e.g. glyceryl trinitrate, GTN) to reduce blood pressure in hypertensives have been largely unsuccessful. However, in recent years inorganic (or 'dietary') nitrate has been identified as a potential solution for NO delivery through its sequential chemical reduction via the enterosalivary circuit. With dietary nitrate found in abundance in vegetables this review discusses epidemiological, pre-clinical and clinical data supporting the idea that dietary nitrate could represent a cheap and effective dietary intervention capable of reducing blood pressure and thereby improving cardiovascular health.