May Treat Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness usually develops at altitudes of at least eight thousand feet, and it is triggered by a lack of oxygen. Patients with this condition may experience headaches, fatigue, insomnia, shortness of breath, and increases in heart rate. A 2011 review of studies on nitric oxide and altitude sickness reported that individuals who had altitude sickness had lower nitric oxide levels than patients who did not have this illness. The review noted that subjects who lived in Tibet had levels of nitric oxide that were at least double those of other populations. A 2015 study found beetroot juice helps the body distribute oxygen and improves endothelial function at high altitudes. Patients planning to travel to high altitudes may want to speak with their doctor about using beetroot juice or other nitrate supplements to reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness.