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Nitric Oxide. 2006 Dec;15(4):359-62. Epub 2006 Mar 24.

Cardioprotective effects of vegetables: is nitrate the answer?

Author information

1
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet 171 77, Stockholm, Sweden. jon.lundberg@ki.se

Abstract

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of certain forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease, but the mechanisms behind this protection are not completely understood. Recent epidemiological studies suggest a cardioprotective action afforded specifically by green leafy vegetables. We here propose that these beneficial effects are related to the high content of inorganic nitrate, which in concert with symbiotic bacteria in the oral cavity is converted into nitrite, nitric oxide, and secondary reaction products with vasodilating and tissue-protective properties.

PMID:
16563818
DOI:
10.1016/j.niox.2006.01.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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