Navigation Links
Nitrate improves mitochondrial function

The spinach-eating cartoon character Popeye has much to teach us, new research from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet shows. The muscles' cellular power plants the mitochondria are boosted by nitrate, a substance found in abundance in vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and beetroot.

For half a century, inorganic nitrate has been associated with negative health effects, but more recently, evidence of the contrary has mounted. In the 1990s, a research group at Karolinska Institutet demonstrated how the body can convert nitrate to NO, a molecule involved in many important bodily functions, such as blood pressure regulation, the immune defence and cell metabolism.

In this new study, the same team had healthy people take nitrate equivalent to 200-300g of spinach or lettuce for three days, after which they were given a cycling task to perform. The researchers then analysed samples from their thigh muscles and compared them with similar samples from the same subjects when they had taken a placebo instead. After nitrate ingestion, a significant improvement was seen in the efficiency of the mitochondria, which consumed less oxygen and produced more of the energy-rich substance ATP per consumed oxygen molecule.

"The mitochondria play a key role in cellular metabolism," says Professor Eddie Weitzberg, who is heading the study with Professor Jon Lundberg. "Improved mitochondrial function probably has many positive effects on the body, and could explain some of the health benefits of vegetables."

The results, which are published in Cell Metabolism, are of sports-physiological interest, as they show that nitrate reduces oxygen consumption during physical exercise; however, they are also of potential significance to diseases involving mitochondrial dysfunction, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The group has also recently shown that nitrate reduces the blood pressure of healthy individuals and that in laboratory animals it counteracts components of the metabolic syndrome, a pre-stage of diabetes. Other scientists have demonstrated protective effects of nitrate and nitrite in animal models against heart attack and stroke.


Contact: Katarina Sternudd
Karolinska Institutet

Related biology news :

1. Tile drainage directly related to nitrate loss
2. Switchgrass lessens soil nitrate loss into waterways, ISU researcher says
3. Solid-state illuminator reduces nitrates in leafy green vegetables
4. Research supports calls to study health benefits of nitrate, nitrite
5. Ultra-fine coatings on sediment grains influence nitrate and sulfate storage in soil
6. Models simulate nitrate dynamics in Garonne, Southwest France
7. New technology improves greenhouse, plant microclimates
8. Arsenic early in treatment improves survival for leukemia patients
9. DHA improves memory and cognitive function in older adults
10. Study improves accuracy of models for predicting ozone levels in urban areas
11. Erlotinib improves progression-free survival as first-line therapy in advanced lung cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Janice Kephart , ... Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues ... President Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: ... vetting can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling ... all refugee applications are suspended by until at ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D ... will run alongside the expo portion of the event ... and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing ... and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 No two people are ... the New York University Tandon School of Engineering ... found that partial similarities between prints are common ... mobile phones and other electronic devices can be ... vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... They call it the “hairy ball.” ... depiction of a system of linkages and connections so complex and dense that ... computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and director of the university’s bioinformatics ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... BioMedGPS announces expanded coverage of SmartTRAK Business ... US Hemostats & Sealants. , SmartTRAK’s US Market for Hemostats and Sealants module ... and biologic sealants used in surgical applications. BioMedGPS estimates the market will grow ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression ... guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, has ... (CNE) network, which will launch this week. The VMS CNEs ... professionals to enhance the patient care experience by delivering peer-to-peer ... care professionals to help women who have been diagnosed and ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: