What’s So Super about SuperBeets?

October 25th, 2018

You may not have to sell Dwight Schrute from “The Office” on the benefits of beets, but we at TINA.org are a bit more skeptical. When we heard that SuperBeets, a concentrated beet powder that you mix with water and drink, “helps increase circulation, supports healthy blood pressure and gets more oxygen flowing throughout your body, naturally,” as stated in the above video, we had to wonder: Where’s the evidence?

We found some on the product’s website. There, SuperBeets refers visitors to a study conducted by “[i]nvestigators at the University of Iowa” as supposed support for its health claims. The thing about the study is, well, two things. The first is that one of its authors, Nathan Bryan, is co-founder of HumanN, the very company that manufactures and markets SuperBeets. The second is that the sampling size of 13 older adults is just too small to make any sweeping claims about the benefits of using SuperBeets, even if subjects who took the product “experienced a beneficial effect on blood pressure levels vs. the placebo group,” as the SuperBeets site claims.

SuperBeets also on its site points to a preliminary study published by the American Heart Association (AHA) in further support of the “overall circulatory and cardiovascular health” benefits of nitrate-rich beets. But the sampling size of that study (eight women and seven men) is also small and while it found blood pressure levels to decrease 10 mm Hg in subjects who drank a cup of beet juice every day (which is very different from consuming a powdered drink mix), the AHA itself noted in an accompanying press release:

Scientists aren’t yet saying that supplementing your diet with beetroot juice benefits your health over the long term. But foods rich in dietary nitrate — like green leafy vegetables — should be part of a healthy diet.

So there you have it. The best health advice to follow is something you heard every night at the dinner table as a kid: Eat your vegetables. But if you are considering adding a supplement like SuperBeets, which sells for $39.95 a canister, to your regimen, talk to your doctor first. Supplements aren’t regulated like drugs, which are subject to rigorous study and testing to gain FDA approval.

This ad alert was sparked by a tip we received from a reader who expressed alarm at some of the health claims he said SuperBeets was using to market its beet powder product on “a number of talk radio programs.” We reached out to the company for comment. Check back for updates.

Find more of our coverage on supplements here.

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