Superbeets is a popular beet powder which claims to provide the benefit of 40 teaspoons of fresh beets, and help with blood pressure support. The product is manufactured by Humann, and sold in GNC stores in the U.S. and through Humann’s site.
In this article we’ll review the medical study testing Superbeets, and explain whether we believe it’s a superior option to beet consumption for blood pressure management and overall health.
Clinical Trial Review
Humann funded a clinical trial on their Superbeets product, which is generally a sign of a quality brand. The trial was published in the American Journal of Physiology, and tested whether Superbeets had positive effects on various cardiovascular parameters in healthy older adults.
Researchers found that Superbeets supplementation over the course of 4 weeks reduced the blood pressure of participants by a small but significant amount. The blood pressure of the patients in the trial was already in a healthy range at the start of the trial, so it would be interesting to see if this effect would be greater in hypertensive patients (we imagine it would).
The study also measured the participants’ response to a low oxygen state after supplementation of Superbeets, but we don’t feel this has much value to real world situations.
We find it strange that the dose in the study was 10 grams (g) but the serving size listed on the Superbeets label is only 5 g. Since the company hasn’t published any research proving Superbeets is effective at 5 g, we can’t understand why they set that as the serving size.
We identified another medical study, this one unsponsored, that compared the blood pressure response to various forms of beet products including Superbeets.
A concentrated beetroot drink and a beetroot flapjack both reduced blood pressure, but Superbeets did not. The study participants had normal blood pressure levels, which again seems like a strange study design decision to us, since there’s essentially no point in testing whether a product can reduce blood pressure in participants with already healthy blood pressure levels.
Since the only trial suggesting Superbeets is effective for blood pressure was funded by the company that manufactures Superbeets, and the conflicting study was unsponsored, we will conclude that Superbeets is not effective for blood pressure regulation.
If the company funds another study on hypertensive patients proving their product is effective, we will consider changing our stance, but currently there just isn’t enough conclusive evidence to say this product lowers blood pressure in our opinion.
Superbeets Ingredient Review
The main active ingredients in Superbeets are beet powder and fermented beet powder. It’s unfortunate that the company uses conventional beets, because organic beet products have been proven in a medical review to have higher nutrient levels and anticancer activity.
Humann doesn’t actually publish the dosage of any of their active ingredients, which is very uncommon and may violate the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) labeling requirements for dietary supplement manufacturers.
Either way, it does a disservice to consumers because without the breakdown of dosage for each ingredient it makes it harder to assess whether or not the product is likely to be effective overall.
One ingredient we take issue with is natural apple flavor. This isn’t a huge safety concern, but we generally recommend avoiding products with “natural flavor” as a listed ingredient, because this is an essentially unregulated term that doesn’t list the actual chemicals used.
Overall we find this to be a pretty harmless formula, and may help improve general health slightly for those who are averse to eating actual beets. We do not recommend this product however, due to the lack of published dosage for (at the very least) the two active ingredients of beet powder and fermented beet powder, and the inclusion of natural flavoring agents.
Superbeets Chews Ingredient Review
Superbeets Heart Chews actually does publish the dosage of the active ingredients, so it’s superior to Superbeets powder in that regard. The product claims to “support healthy blood pressure” and “provide circulatory support”.
The chews contain 500 milligrams (mg) of beet powder. This seems to be a very low dose for any cardiovascular benefit. We located one medical study on beetroot powder for heart health, and while the results were positive, the dosage used was 30 g, or 60x that in Superbeets Chews.
The only other active ingredient in the Chews is 150 mg of grape seed extract. This does appear to be an effective dose for blood pressure benefit. A study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal on the same patented grape seed extract used in Superbeets Heart Chews found that 150 mg significantly lowered blood pressure in trial subjects.
The systolic baseline blood pressure reading was 150 mmHg, and it reduced to 122 after 12 weeks of daily supplementation of 150 mg grape seed extract.
Superbeets Heart Chews contains three inactive ingredients we take issue with.
Added sugar is associated with increased cardiovascular disease mortality in medical research, so we find it a very strange addition in a heart health supplement.
Natural flavors are an ingredient we recommend avoiding for reasons outlined in the previous section, and citric acid is a flavor enhancer and preservative compound that may cause inflammatory disorders in some subjects based on a medical review.
While this product may benefit heart health overall, we don’t recommend it because of the additives and the seemingly underdosed beet powder inclusion.
Since the only effectively dosed ingredient in this product is grape seed extract at 150 mg, it may be worthwhile for patients to talk to their doctors about taking that alone if their goal is to naturally reduce blood pressure, because taking it in a formulation with added sugar and flavorings seems questionable from a health perspective.
Superbeets Vs. Whole Beets
We recommend regular whole beet consumption or beet juice over Superbeets for cardiovascular benefit. There is only one company-funded study suggesting that Superbeets is effective for lowering blood pressure, while there is extensive research on the cardiovascular benefit of whole beet consumption.
A recent meta-review published in the Biomolecules journal found that beet juice is likely effective for hypertension and for reducing cardiovascular incidents.
Another medical study found a dose-dependent association between beet juice consumption and reduced blood pressure, meaning the more beet juice consumed (up to a reasonable limit), the further blood pressure was reduced.
There are many more studies on beets and beet juice for cardiovascular function.
Whole beet or beet juice consumption appears to be more effective, cheaper, and contains no questionable additive ingredients when compared to Superbeets.
For consumers who dislike the taste of beet juice, consider adding lemon juice for a tart flavor that’s more tolerable.