Beetroot Pill Could Help Save Patients from Kidney Failure After Heart X-ray

A research led by Queen Mary University of London noted that the risk of kidney failure in patients having heart x-ray could be reduced by Beetroot.

This research, which is to be sponsored by the National Charity Heart Research UK will observe if the dietary inorganic nitrate commonly found in Beetroot could be used in form of pills to prevent one of the most common kidney failure causes in hospitals.

Coronary angiography refers to the kind of x-ray test that is done in order to observe the coronary arteries in the heart as well as diagnose the number of heart complications. It could also be used in the planning of procedures to enlarge narrow or even open up blocked arteries in the heart.

A special dye is injected into the blood during this procedure so the blood vessels can be visible. This dye however, is capable of causing an acute kidney injury known as contrast induced nephropathy (CIN), which is believed to be partly because it reduces the nitric oxide in kidneys. This dietary nitrate has the capacity to increase the levels of nitric oxide in the body and is found in abundance in vegetables such as beetroot.

A co-director and Professor of vascular pharmacology at Queen Mary’s William Harvey Research Institute, Professor Amrita Ahluwalia noted that: CIN is a major resultant effect of coronary angiography thus making patients pay more in health care costs and spending more time in hospitals.

“There would be massive benefits to patients with heart diseases if it is discovered that giving dietary nitrate in capsule could replace the lost nitric oxide and prevent CIN. Some of the major benefits would include a reduced rate of kidney disease, less need for major treatments such as dialysis which is very good for long term survival.”

Prof Ahluwalia along with some of her colleagues, Prof Anthony Mathur (Director of Intervention, Barts Heart Centre) and Dr. Dan Jones (Senior Lecturer in Clinical Trials) will classify the patients into 2 different groups; one group will be given nitrate capsules while the other will be given placebo capsules that do not contain any form of nitrate. They will then measure the kidney function in both groups before the procedure and 2 days and 3 months after to see if there are any significant differences caused by the dietary nitrate.

The chief executive of Heart research UK, Barbara Harpham stated that the aim of their translational research project grants is to bridge the gap between patient care and scientific laboratory based research, thus helping patients as soon as possible.

The entire process is aimed at reducing the risk of kidney damage and lead to better long-term survival for patients following coronary angiography.”

The Heart Research UK’s Translational Grant has been given to many organizations and the Queen Mary’s William Harvey Research Institute is just one of the recipients of this grant. Since 2009 when this grant was first awarded, this nationwide charity has given out about £5m to fund these groundbreaking and pioneering medical research projects all over the United Kingdom.

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