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Beet root juice may boost muscle power

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New York: Drinking concentrated beet root juice increases muscle power in patients with heart failure, new research has found.

“It is a small study, but we see robust changes in muscle power about two hours after patients drink the beet juice,” said study senior author Linda Peterson, associate professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The researchers believe that high nitrate content in beet juice could explain the improved muscle power in the study participants.

Earlier research had found that dietary nitrate improves muscle performance in many elite athletes.

The nitrates in beet juice, spinach and other leafy green vegetables such as arugula and celery are processed by the body into nitric oxide, which is known to relax blood vessels and have other beneficial effects on metabolism.

Patients in the study served as their own controls, with each receiving the beet juice treatment and an identical beet juice placebo that had only the nitrate content removed.

There was a one- to two-week period between trial sessions to be sure any effects of the first treatment did not carry over to the second.

Two hours after drinking the beet juice with high nitrate content, patients demonstrated a 13 percent increase in power in muscles that extend the knee.

The researchers observed the most substantial benefit when the muscles moved at the highest velocities.

The increase in muscle performance was significant in quick, power-based actions, but researchers saw no improvements in performance during longer tests that measure muscle fatigue.

The researchers also pointed out that participants experienced no major side effects from the beet juice, including no increase in heart rates or drops in blood pressure, which is important in patients with heart failure.

The study appeared in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure.

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From today India to export COVID-19 vaccines to these countries.

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The Ministry of External Affairs said India will supply COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner keeping in view the domestic requirements.

India, one of the world’s leading drug makers, will start exporting vaccines for the novel coronavirus from today. The country will provide supplies of Covid-19 vaccines to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles under grant assistance. Shipments will be sent to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius as well on receipt of necessary regulatory clearances.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India is deeply honored to be a “long-trusted” partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community and that supplies of the vaccines to several countries will commence on Wednesday, and more will follow in the days ahead.

“In response to these requests, and in keeping with India’s stated commitment to using India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity to help all of the humanity fight the COVID pandemic, supplies under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles will begin from January 20,” it said.

The Bangladesh foreign ministry said it expected to receive a gift of two million doses on Thursday. The country of 160 million, which has yet to start its vaccination programme, has ordered a further 30 million doses, officials said.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is widely viewed as their best option because the other two, manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech and by Moderna, need to be stored at very low temperatures. WHO emergency authorization for the Astra-Oxford vaccine would additionally allow SII to begin supplying it to the WHO-backed COVAX initiative aimed at fairly distributing COVID-19 shots across the world.

India has already rolled out a massive coronavirus vaccination drive under which two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, are being administered to frontline health workers across the country. While Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield is being manufactured by the Serum Institute, Covaxin is being produced by Bharat Biotech.

“In an ongoing effort, India will continue to supply countries all over the world with vaccines. This will be calibrated against domestic requirements and international demand and obligations, including under GAVI’s Covax facility to developing countries,” the MEA added. GAVI is a global vaccine alliance.

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