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The role of dietary nitrate and the oral microbiome on blood pressure and vascular tone

Alzahrani, H., Jackson, K. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0070-3203, Hobbs, D. and Lovegrove, J. (2020) The role of dietary nitrate and the oral microbiome on blood pressure and vascular tone. Nutrition Research Reviews. ISSN 0954-4224

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Abstract/Summary

There is increasing evidence for the health benefits of dietary nitrates including lowering blood pressure and enhancing cardiovascular health. Although commensal oral bacteria play an important role in converting dietary nitrate to nitrite, very little is known about the potential role of these bacteria in blood pressure regulation and maintenance of vascular tone. The main purpose of this review is to present the current evidence on the involvement of the oral microbiome in mediating the beneficial effects of dietary nitrate on vascular function and to identify sources of inter and intra-individual differences in bacterial composition. A systematic approach was used to identify the relevant articles published on PubMed and Web of Science in English from January 1950 until September 2019 examining the effects of dietary nitrate on oral microbiome composition and association with blood pressure and vascular tone. To date, only a limited number of studies have been conducted, with n=9 in humans and n=3 in animals focusing mainly on blood pressure. In general, elimination of oral bacteria with use of a chlorhexidine based antiseptic mouthwash reduced the conversion of nitrate to nitrite and was accompanied in some studies by an increase in blood pressure in normotensive subjects. In conclusion, our findings suggest that oral bacteria may play an important role in mediating the beneficial effects of nitrate-rich foods on blood pressure. Further human intervention studies assessing the potential effects of dietary nitrate on oral bacteria composition and relationship to real time measures of vascular function are needed, particularly in individuals with hypertension and those at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Human Nutrition Research Group
ID Code:94686
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

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