Nitrite/nitrate-rich foods may help in heart attack survival

by Editor
Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nitrite/nitrate found in vegetables, cured meats and drinking water may help in heart attack survival and quicken recovery.

This result has been reported in a pre-clinical study led by a cardiovascular physiologist at The University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston.

Lead author Nathan S. Bryan said that simple components of our diet such as nitrite and nitrate – that we have been taught to fear and restrict in food – can now protect the heart from injury.

According to Bryan, nitrite forms nitric oxide gas during a heart attack, which reopens closed or clogged arteries, thereby reducing the amount of permanent injury to the heart muscle.

Said Ferid Murad, M.D., Ph.D., the 1998 Nobel Laureate for Physiology or Medicine, said that these recent reports are very timely reports of the potential benefits of nitrites and nitrates in our diet. Although these agents have been used for hundreds of years as meat and food preservatives to minimise bacterial contamination, it has been feared that these substances could be carcinogenic. This misbelieve has hopefully been corrected with current studies.