American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology

In vitro Effects of Beet Root Juice on Stimulated and Unstimulated Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells

Christiana Winkler, Barbara Wirleitner, Katharina Schroecksnadel, Harald Schennach and Dietmar Fuchs

DOI : 10.3844/ajbbsp.2005.180.185

American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Volume 1, Issue 4

Pages 180-185


Intake of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants is suggested to reduce the incidence of cancer and coronary heart disease in humans. Exceptional antioxidant activity of beet root extracts has been reported. Likewise in animal models, e.g., extracts of red beetroot Beta vulgaris var. rubra revealed significant tumor inhibitory effects. Red beetroot concentrate is universally permitted as a food ingredient. In this study, effects of a commercially available beetroot juice on freshly isolated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with the mitogens phytohaemagglutinin and concanavalin A were investigated in vitro. Tryptophan degradation and neopterin formation were monitored in culture supernatants to determine effects of test substances on immunobiochemical pathways which both are induced by the pro-inflammatory cytokine interferon-γ. Compared to unstimulated cells, the mitogens induced significant formation of neopterin and degradation of tryptophan which is reflected by increasing concentrations of kynurenine together with diminished tryptophan levels in supernatants. Addition of beetroot extracts significantly suppressed these mitogen-induced changes, e.g. the rate of neopterin production as well as tryptophan degradation was dose-dependently suppressed. Our data show that beetroot extract is able to counteract pro-inflammatory cascades in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Because inflammation is strongly involved in the development and progression of several clinical conditions including coronary heart disease and cancer, beneficial effect of beetroot extract may relate to this anti-inflammatory capacity.


© 2005 Christiana Winkler, Barbara Wirleitner, Katharina Schroecksnadel, Harald Schennach and Dietmar Fuchs. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.