This page features 46 unique references to scientific papers.

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All Essential Benefits/Effects/Facts & Information

Frequently asked questions and answers related to Nitrate

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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and answers regarding Nitrate

Q: What is the best form of creatine?

A: The best form of creatine is basic Creatine Monohydrate, which is the cheapest, yet on par with many other forms. No other form has enough evidence to claim it is better than Monohydrate.

Read full answer to "What is the best form of creatine?"

Q: What is creatine nitrate?

A: Until more evidence arises, the answer to 'What is Creatine Nitrate' may be 'Overhyped'; it's just more water-soluble

Read full answer to "What is creatine nitrate?"

Q: How can I make red meat healthier?

A: Marinade it before cooking and don't burn the heck out of it

Read full answer to "How can I make red meat healthier?"

Q: Is processed meat bad for me?

A: Processed meat products are associated with cancer and mortality in survey research, but to a small degree. They are likely unhealthy, technically speaking, but the increase in mortality/cancer is overblown.

Read full answer to "Is processed meat bad for me?"

Q: Are nitrates from beetroot and processed meats the same thing?

A: Although the food products they are gained via differ widely, the nitrates contained in processed meats and vegetables are the same molecules

Read full answer to "Are nitrates from beetroot and processed meats the same thing?"

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what effects nitrate has on your body, and how strong these effects are.

Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Blood Pressure Notable Moderate See all 7 studies
Appears to be a fairly potent blood pressure reducing agent during periods of high blood pressure (at rest during disease states or during exercise in healthy persons) without having a reducing effect when blood pressure is normalized. There may be no effect on people on hypertensive medications, though.
Plasma Nitrate Strong Very High See all 3 studies
Nitrate ingestion strongly and fairly reliabily increases plasma nitrate and nitrite.
Anaerobic Running Capacity Notable - See study
The increase in performance on a sprint test appeared to be fairly significant, and pending more evidence nitrates may be a reference comparator.
Oxygenation Cost of Exercise Notable Very High See 2 studies
A notable reduction in the oxygenation cost of exercise associated with nitrate supplementation.
Aerobic Exercise Minor Very High See 2 studies
The performance enhancing aspect of nitrate supplementation in prolonged aerobic exercise is less than that seen in shorter duration cardiovascular exercise, and is only somewhat effective for longer periods.
Exercise performance during hypoxia Minor Very High See 2 studies
Appears to preserve exercise performance during insufficient oxygen, but not to a remarkable degree
Rate of Perceived Exertion Minor Moderate See 2 studies
May reduce the rate of perceived exertion in some instances (prolonged cardiovascular exercise), but is not highly reliable.
Blood Flow - - See study
No significant influence on blood flow in studies that use flow-mediated vasodilation
Cognitive Decline - - See study
Short-term supplementation failed to restore cognitive decline in older persons, no evidence as to whether nitrate exerts a preventative effect.
Functionality in Elderly or Injured - - See study
No significant influence has been noted on functional tests in elderly persons given nitrate supplementation
Heart Rate - Very High See all 3 studies
Does not appear to significantly influence heart rate
Insulin Sensitivity - - See study
No significant observed effects on insulin sensitivity.
Power Output - - See study
No significant effect on acute power output

Studies Excluded from Consideration

Note: The above human trials table contains studies comparing beetroot with nitrate against a placebo of beetroot without nitrate, as the only bioactive difference is due to nitrate

  • Used sodium nitrate (active compound) rather than whole beetroot juice[1]

Disagree? Join the Nitrate Discussion

Scientific Support & Reference Citations


  2. Gibis M, Weiss J Inhibitory effect of marinades with hibiscus extract on formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines and sensory quality of fried beef patties . Meat Sci. (2010)
  3. Smith JS, Ameri F, Gadgil P Effect of marinades on the formation of heterocyclic amines in grilled beef steaks . J Food Sci. (2008)
  4. Melo A, et al Effect of beer/red wine marinades on the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines in pan-fried beef . J Agric Food Chem. (2008)
  5. Gibis M Effect of oil marinades with garlic, onion, and lemon juice on the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines in fried beef patties . J Agric Food Chem. (2007)
  6. J├Ągerstad M, Skog K Genotoxicity of heat-processed foods . Mutat Res. (2005)
  7. Knize MG, et al Food heating and the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amine and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon mutagens/carcinogens . Adv Exp Med Biol. (1999)
  8. Phillips DH Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the diet . Mutat Res. (1999)
  9. Lijinsky W The formation and occurrence of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons associated with food . Mutat Res. (1991)
  10. Hord NG, Tang Y, Bryan NS Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for potential health benefits . Am J Clin Nutr. (2009)
  11. Tannenbaum SR Preventive action of vitamin C on nitrosamine formation . Int J Vitam Nutr Res Suppl. (1989)
  12. Kessler H, Husemann B, Wagner W Potential protective effect of vitamin C on carcinogenesis caused by nitrosamine in drinking water: an experimental study on Wistar rats . Eur J Surg Oncol. (1992)
  13. Liu YX, Guttenplan JB Mutational specificities of N-nitrosamines in a host-mediated assay: comparison with direct-acting N-nitroso compounds in vitro and an approach to deducing the nature of ultimate mutagens in vivo . Mol Carcinog. (1992)
  14. Sinha R, et al Meat intake and mortality: a prospective study of over half a million people . Arch Intern Med. (2009)
  15. De Stefani E, et al Processed meat consumption and risk of cancer: a multisite case-control study in Uruguay . Br J Cancer. (2012)
  16. Alexander DD, et al A review and meta-analysis of red and processed meat consumption and breast cancer . Nutr Res Rev. (2010)
  17. Larsson SC, Wolk A Red and processed meat consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer: meta-analysis of prospective studies . Br J Cancer. (2012)
  18. Alexander DD, et al A review and meta-analysis of prospective studies of red and processed meat intake and prostate cancer . Nutr J. (2010)
  19. Norat T, et al Meat, fish, and colorectal cancer risk: the European Prospective Investigation into cancer and nutrition . J Natl Cancer Inst. (2005)
  20. Cross AJ, et al A prospective study of red and processed meat intake in relation to cancer risk . PLoS Med. (2007)
  21. Larsson SC, Wolk A Meat consumption and risk of colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective studies . Int J Cancer. (2006)
  22. Chan DS, et al Red and processed meat and colorectal cancer incidence: meta-analysis of prospective studies . PLoS One. (2011)
  23. Meat consumption and mortality - results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition
  24. Whiteman D, et al Dietary questions as determinants of mortality: the OXCHECK experience . Public Health Nutr. (1999)
  25. Anatomy of health effects of Mediterranean diet: Greek EPIC prospective cohort study
  26. Pan A, et al Red meat consumption and mortality: results from 2 prospective cohort studies . Arch Intern Med. (2012)
  27. Kahn HA, et al Association between reported diet and all-cause mortality. Twenty-one-year follow-up on 27,530 adult Seventh-Day Adventists . Am J Epidemiol. (1984)
  28. Chemistry and Biology of N-Nitroso Compounds
  29. Povey AC, et al DNA alkylation and repair in the large bowel: animal and human studies . J Nutr. (2002)
  30. Kuhnle GG, et al Diet-induced endogenous formation of nitroso compounds in the GI tract . Free Radic Biol Med. (2007)
  31. Kuhnle GG, Bingham SA Dietary meat, endogenous nitrosation and colorectal cancer . Biochem Soc Trans. (2007)
  32. Joosen AM, et al Effect of processed and red meat on endogenous nitrosation and DNA damage . Carcinogenesis. (2009)
  33. Hughes R, et al Dose-dependent effect of dietary meat on endogenous colonic N-nitrosation . Carcinogenesis. (2001)
  34. Lewin MH, et al Red meat enhances the colonic formation of the DNA adduct O6-carboxymethyl guanine: implications for colorectal cancer risk . Cancer Res. (2006)
  35. Cross AJ, et al Developing a heme iron database for meats according to meat type, cooking method and doneness level . Food Nutr Sci. (2012)
  36. Bingham SA, Hughes R, Cross AJ Effect of white versus red meat on endogenous N-nitrosation in the human colon and further evidence of a dose response . J Nutr. (2002)
  37. Cross AJ, Pollock JR, Bingham SA Haem, not protein or inorganic iron, is responsible for endogenous intestinal N-nitrosation arising from red meat . Cancer Res. (2003)
  38. Schwartz S, Ellefson M Quantitative fecal recovery of ingested hemoglobin-heme in blood: comparisons by HemoQuant assay with ingested meat and fish . Gastroenterology. (1985)
  39. Reactions of nitrous acid and nitric oxide with porphyrins and haems. Nitrosylhaems as nitrosating agents
  40. Survey of Literature Relating to Infant Methemoglobinemia Due to Nitrate-Contaminated Water
  41. Cyanosis in Infants Caused by Nitrates in Well Water
  42. McKnight GM, et al Dietary nitrate in man: friend or foe . Br J Nutr. (1999)
  43. Chan TY Vegetable-borne nitrate and nitrite and the risk of methaemoglobinaemia . Toxicol Lett. (2011)
  44. Wylie LJ, et al Beetroot juice and exercise: pharmacodynamic and dose-response relationships . J Appl Physiol. (2013)
  45. Larsen FJ, et al Dietary nitrate reduces maximal oxygen consumption while maintaining work performance in maximal exercise . Free Radic Biol Med. (2010)
  46. Sindler AL, et al Nitrite supplementation reverses vascular endothelial dysfunction and large elastic artery stiffness with aging . Aging Cell. (2011)

(Common misspellings for Nitrate include nitate, nitrat, nitrit, nitite)