Int J Sports Med 2015; 36(14): 1177-1185
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1554700
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

The Effects of Chronic Nitrate Supplementation and the Use of Strong and Weak Antibacterial Agents on Plasma Nitrite Concentration and Exercise Blood Pressure

S. T. J. McDonagh
1   Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
L. J. Wylie
1   Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
P. G. Winyard
2   University of Exeter Medical School, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
A. Vanhatalo
1   Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
A. M. Jones
1   Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision 19 May 2015

Publication Date:
02 September 2015 (online)


Chlorhexidine-containing mouthwash (STRONG), which disturbs oral microflora, has been shown to diminish the rise in plasma nitrite concentration ([NO2 ]) and attenuate the reduction in resting blood pressure (BP) typically seen after acute nitrate (NO3 ) ingestion. We aimed to determine whether STRONG and weaker antiseptic agents attenuate the physiological effects of chronic NO3 supplementation using beetroot juice (BR). 12 healthy volunteers mouth-rinsed with STRONG, non-chlorhexidine mouthwash (WEAK) and deionised water (CON) 3 times a day, and ingested 70 mL BR (6.2 mmol NO3 ), twice a day, for 6 days. BP (at rest and during 10 min of treadmill walking) and plasma and salivary [NO3 ] and [NO2 ] were measured prior to and on day 6 of supplementation. The change in salivary [NO3 ] 4 h post final ingestion was higher (P<0.05) in STRONG (8.7±3.0 mM) compared to CON (6.3±0.9 mM) and WEAK (6.0±3.0 mM). In addition, the rise in plasma [NO2 ] at 2 h was lower in STRONG compared with WEAK (by 89±112 nM) and CON (by 200±174 nM) and in WEAK compared with CON (all P<0.05). Changes in resting BP were not different between conditions (P>0.05). However, during treadmill walking, the increase in systolic and mean arterial BP was higher 4 h after the final nitrate bolus in STRONG compared with CON (P<0.05) but not WEAK. The results indicate that both strong and weak antibacterial agents suppress the rise in plasma [NO2 ] observed following the consumption of a high NO3 diet and the former can influence the BP response during low-intensity exercise.

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