Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chemo-protective properties of betalains
Betalains have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chemo-protective properties. They inhibit specific signalling pathways that play a role in inflammatory diseases.
A 2014 study showed that betalain reduced the activity of an inflammatory enzyme by 32%.
Additionally, accumulating evidence has shown that betaine has anti-inflammatory functions in numerous diseases. Consequently, betaine has beneficial actions in several human diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Beetroot extracts have thus emerged as potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents.
Since the 1970s, traditional treatment for inflammatory disorders has been non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). However, these drugs, particularly in chronic doses, may actually have harmful consequences for health and evoke negative side effects. Above all, they have been deemed ineffective in the treatment of many inflammatory-related conditions. Consequently, focus has shifted towards the anti-inflammatory effects of natural food sources and their potential use as alternatives to synthetic NSAID treatments.
Vidal, P.J., et al., (2014). Inactivation of lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase by natural betalains and semi-synthetic analogues. Food Chemistry, vol. 154, 246–254.