A Pilot Study of Dietary Nitrate Supplementation in Anaemic Patients.
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Anaemia affects 60-90% of people with cancer. A lower haemoglobin (Hb) is associated with a worse quality of life. Erythropoietin treatment improves both Hb and quality of life but is associated with significant risk. Blood transfusions improve Hb but only have a short-term effect on quality of life. Stored blood has a reduced NO bioavailability causing reduced vasodilation, reduced blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles, and reduced exercise tolerance and muscle oxidative function. Dietary nitrate supplementation has been shown to be of significant benefit in healthy individuals. It improves mitochondrial efficiency, reduces metabolic rate, increases blood flow to areas of the body requiring more oxygen, and reduces the effect of hypoxia on exercise capacity and muscle recovery.