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Does dietary nitrate say NO to cardiovascular ageing? Current evidence and implications for research

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mario Siervo, Dr Filippo Scialo, Dr Oliver Shannon, Professor Bloss Stephan, Ammar Ashor


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Copyright © The Authors 2018. CVD are characterised by a multi-factorial pathogenesis. Key pathogenetic steps in the development of CVD are the occurrence of endothelial dysfunction and formation of atherosclerotic lesions. Reduced nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability is a primary event in the initiation of the atherosclerotic cascade. NO is a free radical with multiple physiological functions including the regulation of vascular resistance, coagulation, immunity and oxidative metabolism. The synthesis of NO proceeds via two distinct pathways identified as enzymatic and non-enzymatic. The former involves the conversion of arginine into NO by the NO synthases, whilst the latter comprises a two-step reducing process converting inorganic nitrate into nitrite and subsequently NO. Inorganic is present in water and food, particularly beetroot and green leafy vegetables. Several investigations have therefore used the non-enzymatic NO pathway as a target for nutritional supplementation ( salts) or dietary interventions (high- foods) to increase NO bioavailability and impact on cardiovascular outcomes. Some studies have reported positive effects of dietary on systolic blood pressure and endothelial function in patients with hypertension and chronic heart failure. Nevertheless, results have been inconsistent and the size of the effect appears to be declining in older individuals. Additionally, there is a paucity of studies for disorders such as diabetes, CHD and chronic kidney failure. Thus, whilst dietary supplementation could represent an effective and viable strategy for the primary and secondary prevention of age-related cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, more large-scale, robust studies are awaited to confirm or refute this notion.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Siervo M, Scialo F, Shannon OM, Stephan BCM, Ashor AW

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: The Nutrition Society Irish Section Meeting

Year of Conference: 2018

Pages: 112-123

Online publication date: 10/05/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

ISSN: 0029-6651

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0029665118000058

Series Title: Proceedings of the Nutrition Society