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Beet the cold: A study helping us to understand blood flow and pain in individuals with Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Research Title: The effect of inorganic nitrate (beetroot juice) supplementation on peripheral blood flow and pain in individuals with Raynaud’s phenomenon. A pilot, double-blind, placebo controlled, randomised crossover trial.

Department: Sport and Exercise Science


Volunteers must be:

  • Age: 18+
  • Gender: Either
  • Staff/Student: Both

Clinical trials registration

Raynaud’s Phenomenon (RP) can cause significant discomfort and pain to individuals during a vasospasm. Dietary nitrate appears to offer a simple, low cost means of modifying blood flow to the peripheries and, ultimately, reducing both the discomfort and pain experienced by individuals with RP. This study will also advance our understanding of the aetiology and pathophysiology of RP, specifically the role that the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway might play in modulating RP symptoms. An understanding of the effects of concentrated beetroot juice on microvascular blood flow and pain may lead to a range of simple, low cost and effective therapeutic interventions to prevent and treat episodes of RP.

Primary objectives: Does concentrated beetroot juice (CBJ) increase peripheral blood flow, improve endothelial function and increase skin temperature compared to placebo in people with RP. Secondary objectives: 1) Does CBJ reduce perceived discomfort and pain and, 2) is our protocol acceptable to individuals with RP (i.e. cold water stimulus, CBJ palatability) and feasible to perform in a future multi-centre randomised control trial (RCT) and, 3) to establish recruitment and retention rates.

More Information:

  • Dates: 01-07-2017 - 01-12-2018
  • Duration: 5 visits of 2.5 hours over a 6 week period
  • Location: Spinnaker Building, extreme environments laboratory

If you would like more information, contact Dr Ant Shepherd at

This testing has been reviewed by the Science Faculty ethics committee and been given the following ethics code: NHS REC Ref: 17/SC/0148

1 comment on this postSubmit yours
  1. Hi there, i saw this ad on the uni website. I am a nutitional therapy student at the learning at work department. This study would be of a huge interest to my practise, pls let me know if i can participate. I am also able to recruite more participants from either my patients or my colleaques in London. Regards, Eva

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