How Red Beetroot Products Affect Blood Sugar Levels: A Review of Human Studies

Jim Crocker
19th May, 2024

How Red Beetroot Products Affect Blood Sugar Levels: A Review of Human Studies

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The SRM Institute of Science and Technology reviewed studies on red beetroot's impact on blood sugar levels in various health conditions like T2DM, obesity, and hypertension
  • The review found mixed results, likely due to differences in study design, dosage, duration, and participant populations
  • More standardized studies with diverse participant groups are needed to fully understand beetroot's role in managing blood sugar levels
The management of blood glucose levels is a critical aspect of preventing and treating diet-related diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Recent research conducted by the SRM Institute of Science and Technology has delved into the potential of red beetroot-based products to influence glycemic profiles in humans across various health conditions[1]. This study is significant due to beetroot's high fiber content, antioxidants, and inorganic nitrates, which are believed to offer multiple health benefits. The systematic review conducted by the SRM Institute included 18 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), one non-randomized clinical trial (non-RCT), and one quasi-experimental (QE) study, covering a wide range of health conditions such as T2DM, obesity, and hypertension. The review aimed to summarize the impact of red beetroot on blood sugar levels. The findings, however, were mixed, likely due to differences in study design, dosage, duration, and participant populations. Most of the RCTs and QE studies were assessed to have a low or moderate risk of bias, while one non-RCT was found to have a high risk of bias. The concept of using dietary interventions to manage blood glucose levels is not new. Previous studies have shown that low-glycemic diets can significantly reduce fasting blood glucose and glycated proteins, which are markers of long-term blood sugar levels[2]. These diets have also been associated with improved insulin sensitivity, particularly in individuals with T2DM or those who are overweight or obese[2]. Furthermore, the reduction of glycemic load, which is a measure of the blood sugar-raising potential of the diet, has been linked to reduced body weight[2]. The SRM study builds on these findings by exploring the specific impact of red beetroot, a food item known for its high nutritional value. Beetroot is rich in betalain pigments, which have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties[3]. It is also a source of inorganic nitrates, which can increase nitric oxide availability in the body, thereby improving endothelial function and potentially lowering blood pressure[3]. These properties make beetroot a promising candidate for managing conditions associated with oxidative stress and inflammation, which are common in people with T2DM and obesity[3]. Despite the promising attributes of beetroot, the SRM study found that the existing results on its potential for glycemic management are inconclusive. The varied outcomes across the reviewed studies suggest that more standardized protocols and diverse participant groups are necessary to make a definitive judgment. This aligns with earlier findings that emphasize the importance of a comprehensive approach to blood glucose management, which includes dietary regulation, physical activity, and weight management[4]. In conclusion, while the SRM study highlights the potential of red beetroot in managing blood sugar levels, it also underscores the need for further research. Standardized intervention studies with diverse participant groups are essential to fully understand the role of beetroot products in glycemic regulation. Until then, the existing evidence suggests that incorporating beetroot into a balanced diet could offer additional benefits for individuals managing T2DM and other diet-related diseases.



Main Study

1) The Impact of Red Beetroot Products on Glycemic Profiles: A Systematic Review of Human Evidence.

Published 18th May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Glycemic response and health--a systematic review and meta-analysis: relations between dietary glycemic properties and health outcomes.

Journal: The American journal of clinical nutrition, Issue: Vol 87, Issue 1, Jan 2008

3) The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease.

4) Impact of Diet Composition on Blood Glucose Regulation.

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