Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033


In this study the investigators will test the hypothesis that short-term consumption of inorganic nitrate (supplied in concentrated beetroot juice) enhances coronary blood flow responses, large artery hemodynamics, and leg oxygenation/exercise tolerance in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Understanding and improving blood flow regulation in the heart and skeletal muscles of patients with PAD is important because exercise triggers symptoms of leg pain and substantially raises blood pressure and myocardial demand in these patients.

Study summary:

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a strong predictor of cardiovascular mortality and negatively affects functional capacity and quality of life for as many as 14 million patients in the U.S. alone. One open-label study showed that acute consumption of beetroot juice improved 6 min walk performance, reduced blood pressure, and enhanced leg muscle oxygenation in PAD patients. However, no studies have rigorously confirmed these findings in a double-blind manner, nor have the effects of this supplement been investigated (acutely or short-term) in the coronary circulation of PAD patients. In addition to studying its effects on graded treadmill walking performance and consequent large artery vasodilation, the present study will examine the effects of short-term beetroot juice consumption (twice/day) on both coronary and leg vasodilator (graded calf flexion) and vasoconstrictor (isometric handgrip, voluntary apnea) responses in patients with PAD. Participants will randomly consume either nitrate-rich or nitrate-depleted beetroot juice with a 7 to 14 day wash-out period between. Effects of beetroot juice consumption on plasma nitrate, nitrite and methemoglobin will also be assessed.


Inclusion Criteria: 1. Patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) 2. Capable of giving informed consent 3. Men and women age 21- 85 years 4. Diagnosed with PAD (i.e., ankle-brachial index below 0.9) 5. Fontaine stage II or less - no pain while resting 6. Satisfactory history and physical exam Exclusion Criteria: 1. Children 2. Pregnant or nursing women 3. Patients taking nitroglycerine or nitrate preparations 4. Patients taking phosphodiesterase inhibitors such as sildenafil or tadalafil 5. Patients taking proton pump inhibitors 6. Ejection fraction < 40% 7. Uncontrolled hypertension 8. Uncontrolled diabetes 9. Myocardial infarction within past 6 months or unstable angina 10. Severe lung disease (i.e., on supplemental oxygen or frequently use rescue inhalers) 11. Abnormality in hemoglobin or hematocrit or methemoglobin 12. Impaired renal function 13. Impaired liver function 14. History or diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus 15. Known allergy to beetroot juice or lemon juice 16. Inability to walk on a treadmill at a moderate pace (2.0 miles/hour)



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Urs A Leuenberger, MD
Penn State University

David N Proctor, PhD
Phone: 814-863-0724
Email: dnp3@psu.edu

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033
United States

Urs A Leuenberger, MD
Phone: 717-531-7455
Email: uleuenberger@hmc.psu.edu

Site Status: Recruiting

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: January 21, 2020

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