Overview

Beet is a plant. The root and leaves are used as medicine. Beet root and leaves are also eaten as a vegetable.

People use beet most often for athletic performance. It is also used for liver diseases, reducing muscle soreness after exercise, high blood pressure, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work ?

Beets contain chemicals that might reduce swelling and cholesterol. Also, beet can increase levels of a chemical called nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide can affect blood vessels, possibly reducing blood pressure and making it easier to exercise.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Possibly Effective for

  • Athletic performance. Drinking beetroot juice might improve exercise performance during aerobic activities in some people. But it's unclear how much or how often beetroot juice is needed for benefit. And any benefit in elite athletes might be too small to be meaningful.
  • Muscle soreness caused by exercise. Drinking beetroot juice a few times a day for about 48 hours after exercise may reduce muscle soreness after sprinting or jumping.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Heart disease. Early research shows that taking red beetroot extract for 2 weeks can reduce total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol, and triglycerides in people with heart disease.
  • High blood pressure. Drinking beetroot juice might reduce blood pressure in some people. But it doesn't seem to work in people with high blood pressure.
  • High levels of fats called triglycerides in the blood (hypertriglyceridemia). Taking a mixture of beet and hawthorn seems to reduce triglycerides by a small amount in people at risk of heart disease. But taking beet leaf doesn't seem to reduce triglycerides.
  • Obesity. Taking beet leaf doesn't seem to improve weight loss when taken for 4 weeks in people already given nutrition advice.
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy. Early research shows that taking beetroot juice doesn't lower blood pressure in pregnant women with high blood pressure.
  • High blood pressure in arteries in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension). Early research shows that taking beetroot juice doesn't lower blood pressure in the lungs of people with pulmonary hypertension.
  • Painful response to cold especially in the fingers and toes (Raynaud syndrome). Early research shows that drinking beetroot juice for 2 weeks does not seem to reduce pain in the fingers or toes when people with Raynaud syndrome are exposed to cold temperatures.
  • Liver disease.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate beet for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Beet is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken in the amounts typically found in foods. Beet is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts.

Beet can make urine or stools appear pink or red. But this is not harmful. There is concern that beets might cause low calcium levels and kidney damage. But this hasn't been shown in people.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Beet is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken in the amounts typically found in foods. Beet is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts.

Beet can make urine or stools appear pink or red. But this is not harmful. There is concern that beets might cause low calcium levels and kidney damage. But this hasn't been shown in people. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if beet is safe to use as a medicine when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Kidney disease: Eating too many beets might make kidney disease worse.

Interactions ?

We currently have no information for BEET overview.

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
  • For athletic performance: Beetroot juice 70-140 mL daily has been used, often taken a few hours before exercise. Baked beetroot 200 grams taken 75 minutes before exercise has also been used. Beetroot concentrate 50 mg twice daily for about 6 days has been used.
  • For muscle soreness caused by exercise: Beetroot juice (Love Beets Beetroot Juice) 125 or 250 mL per serving has been used for a total of 7-8 servings over approximately 2 days following exercise.
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.