The health benefits of Beet Extracts 2011
What are the potential health benefits of beet extracts and betanin?
Beets used to be only found in salad bars in canned form, and on European
menus, but with the culinary winds changing, this root is now commonly seen
in stateside grocery stores everywhere. This root vegetable like its turnip
cousin has two parts — the edible root and the edible green leave. The
serving size of cooked beets is 1/2 cup (85 g) contains 35 calories, 8 g of
carbohydrate, 2 g of dietary fiber, 7 g of sugars, 1 g of protein, and trace
amounts of vitamin C, calcium and iron.
Researchers from Israel found a class of dietary cationized
antioxidants (betalains) in red beets (Beta vulgaris L.) This class of
antioxidants consists mainly of betanin (betanidin 5-O-beta-glucoside).
Betanin was found to inhibit lipid peroxidation and heme decomposition. They
believe that red beet products used regularly in the diet may provide benefits
against certain oxidative stress-related disorders. 
Researchers from Research Institute of Nutrition, Slovak
Republic, found that red beet (Beta vulgaris var. rubra) fiber
diet reduced serum cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels (by 30 and 40%,
respectively) and increased in the fraction of
cholesterol carried in HDL in a study of male Wistar rats
suffered from hypercholesterolemia. It also reduced incidence of
precancerous lesions--aberrant crypt foci--in the colon. 
Agarwal M, et al at VMMC and Safdarjung Hospital, India,
administrated ethanolic beta vulgaris roots extracts orally to
rats with hepatoxicity at doses of 1000, 2000 and 4000 mg/kg. They found the
significant dose-dependent hepatoprotective activity against
carbontetrachloride (CCl(4))-induced hepatotoxicity in the animals. 
Kapadia GJ and co-workers at Howard University identified
betanin, the extract of Beta vulgaris (beet root), as a potent
cancer chemopreventive agent from Epstein-Barr early antigen activation
assay and in an in vivo two-stage mouse lung and skin carcinogenesis. They
further confirmed their finding in a study of mice. 
How does beet fiber benefit people suffered from
It has been observed that a diet high in fiber is useful in the
management of the plasma glucose concentration in individuals with diabetes.
While, national diabetes associations have recommended that diabetic
individuals ingest a diet high in fiber- containing foods.
Studies have shown that addition of water-soluble, gel-forming fiber such as
guar gum to an ingested glucose solution or to a mixed meal will reduce the
expected rise in glucose concentration. But, a few long-term, well-controlled
trials indicate guar gum, pectin, beet fiber, or cereal bran fiber ingested with
meals has been of little or no value in controlling the plasma glucose
concentration in individuals with diabetes. The effect of reducing rise in
glucose concentration is only observed when large amounts of fiber are
Cholesterol lowering effect is one of the common health benefits of
In a randomized cross-over study, researchers supplied 16 g of beet fiber to
diabetic patients in their diets. They found that intake of the beet fiber could
result in a 10% reduction of serum cholesterol in sulphonylurea-treated
patients. However, patients experienced also mild gastrointestinal discomfort.
 In another study, researchers from Sweden found that intake of 27 g of
beet-fiber could decrease systolic blood pressure, triglyceride and LDL/HDL
ratio and increase the HDL cholesterol. 
How does water soluble fiber help diabetes (in general)?
Researchers from Finland supplied 22 middle-aged subjects with abnormal
glucose metabolism with a drink of sugar beet pectin for 12 weeks. They
found a rise in HDL but no change in fasting (no food, empty stomach) plasma
glucose concentration in these subjects.  In another study, intake of beet
fiber was associated with increased somatostatin concentration, decreased
insulin and C-peptide levels. And also, it didn't alter the plasma glucose
responses.  On the other hand, researchers found that addition of 10.8 g of
beet-fiber into breakfasts was associated with a reduction of the extent and
rate of glucose absorption and a rise of somatostatin response in diabetic
patients.  Addition of water-soluble, gel-forming fiber such as beet-fiber to
an ingested glucose solution or to a mixed meal will reduce glucose
absorption and thus the expected rise in glucose concentration. In sum, beet-
fiber is not for lowering glucose level but for retarding its absorption, during
food ingestion. Thus, we should take beet-fiber right before meal or with meal
to get its effect on glucose absorption.
This article is for reference only. If you have any question, please, consult with your doctor.
Please note that the performance of a supplement or extract in animal studies may be different
in human body. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ZHION 2011
Reference for Section I  Bobek P, Galbavy S, Mariassyova M. The effect of red beet (Beta vulgaris
var. rubra) fiber on alimentary hypercholesterolemia and chemically induced colon carcinogenesis
in rats. Nahrung. 2000 Jun;44(3):184-7.
 Kanner J et al, Betalains--a new class of dietary cationized antioxidants. J Agric Food Chem.
2001 Nov;49(11):5178-85  Agarwal M, et al Hepatoprotective activity of Beta vulgaris against
CCl4-induced hepatic injury in rats. Fitoterapia. 2006 Feb;77(2):91-3. Epub 2005 Dec 20. 
Kapadia GJ, et al, Chemoprevention of DMBA-induced UV-B promoted, NOR-1-induced TPA
promoted skin carcinogenesis, and DEN-induced phenobarbital promoted liver tumors in mice by
extract of beetroot. Pharmacol Res. 2003 Feb;47(2):141-8.
Reference for Section II  Nuttall FQ. Dietary fiber in the management of diabetes. Diabetes 1993
Apr;42(4):503-8.  Karlander S. et al, Metabolic effects and clinical value of beet fiber treatment in
NIDDM patients.. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 1991 Feb;11(2):65-71.  Hagander B. et al, Dietary fibre
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Nutr. 1989 Jan;43(1):35-44.  Hagander B. Fibre and the diabetic diet. An evaluation of the
metabolic response to standardized meals. Acta Med Scand Suppl. 1987;716:1-55.  Hagander
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Schwab U, et al, Impact of sugar beet pectin and polydextrose on fasting and postprandial
glycemia and fasting concentrations of
serum total and lipoprotein lipids in middle-aged subjects with abnormal glucose metabolism.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Sep;60(9):1073-80. Epub 2006 Mar 8.