Beetroot juice for chilblains? ….. say what?

Chilblains are generally not that responsive to treatment with most interventions having some effect, but no one intervention really curing them or having any great consistent affect. Lots of people have opinions and preferences for treatments, most of which have not yet been shown to do any better than a placebo. When there are no definitive treatments shown to work for a condition, then the wide range of anecdotal recommendations and choices to treat will contain many treatments that simply can not work and if they do appear to work, then its more likely to be the natural history rather than the treatment.

One great frustration I have as a clinician is not having that magic bullet to treat this and the one great frustration I have as a skeptic is when I see health professionals asking for advice online from colleagues is to see so many different recommendations from them. Most have no clinical data and some I know damn well will not and can not work, but that does not stop people who should know better saying, paraphrased …. but, but it works for me (been there, done that).

I am not averse to looking at something new to try and there is definitively a paucity of research on chilblains which is a little surprising as it is a painful condition that is common (at least in the colder climates). Due to that paucity of research, when research on it is published it does stick out and catch ones attention. Which brings us to the beetroot juice!

It has not escaped my attention that beetroot juice is supposed to be one of the “new” superfoods and it does appear to have some benefits in hypertension and other conditions. I keep seeing that being mentioned in running magazines and websites. Beetroot juice is high in nitrates, that get converted into nitric acid which is a vasodilator. It was this study from late last year that looked at beetroot juice in a group of people with Raynaud’s phenomenon with the key finding being “the key findings are that beetroot supplementation improves thumb blood flow, improves endothelial function and anti-inflammatory status, and reduces BP in people with Raynaud’s.” That was pretty impressive. The results do look sound and they do look good.

Now I know that Raynaud’s are not chilblains, but they are both non-freezing cold injuries and they both share some pathophysiological features in common, so it would not be unreasonable to suggest that those effects reported in this study might also occur in those with chilblains and might be of benefit to those with chilblains.

So based on that flimsy link I just made, should we recommended beetroot juice to those with chilblains? This is where it gets interesting. Maybe? Maybe not? What about some more direct evidence? (there is none). This is where a lot of logical fallacies can start creeping in as well as clichés (like, whats the harm?) start creeping in also to try and justify a treatments use. I will follow with interest the strength of any recommendations that may come out of this speculation and what gets used to defend it.

Please do not quote me as saying we should be using beetroot juice for chilblains. I am just speculating a link. I have been meaning to write about this since it was published, originally planning to write more about will the ‘natural health’ (another logical fallacy) promoters latch on to this. Six months have passed since it was published and they still haven’t. The only reference I can find on this is that apparently the Romans did apply beetroot juice to chilblains, so its got some ‘history’ (another logical fallacy), so while I would like to claim credit for being the first to speculate that beetroot juice might have some role in the management for chilblains, I have to give credit to the Romans in the first century AD for that.

Please sign up for my newsletter when a new content is posted:


 



Postscript:
We litigated some of the above issues on chilblains on an episode of PodChatLive:

Advertisement:

SaleBestseller No. 1
2024 Coding Companion for Podiatry (Spiral)
  • Optum (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
SaleBestseller No. 2
Pocket Foot and Ankle Medicine and Surgery (Pocket Notebook Series)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 07/18/2018 (Publication Date) - LWW (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 3
Minimally Invasive Foot and Ankle Surgery: A Percutaneous Approach
  • Hardcover Book
  • Vulcano MD, Dr. Ettore (Author)
SaleBestseller No. 4
QYUVK Retractable Podiatry Badge Reel with Alligator Clip, Funny Black Glitter Foot Badge Holder Gift for Doctors Nurses Podiatrist Podiatry Squad Podiatric or Foot Doctor, DPM Graduation Gift
  • 【PRODUCT SIZE】: The width of The retractable badge reel is 1.8 inch, length is 4.1 inch, retracts to extend 24 inch (60cm) nylon cord, weight about 0.60 oz.
  • 【HIGH QUALITY】: The Glitter badge holder is made of high quality Acrylic, ABS and metal, and the rope is mainly made of quality nylon material, which is sturdy and strong, safe and reliable, not easy to break, fade or tear, you can use for a long time with confidence.
Bestseller No. 5
Jaws Podiatry No B.S. Callus Cream 40% Urea Callus Remover For Feet - Soften Exfoliates Hydrates and Renews Skin - Podiatrist-Recommended
  • 40% Urea Acid - Our Callus Cream is enriched with an impressive 40% concentration of Urea Acid, a powerful ingredient known for its exfoliating and moisturizing properties. This high level of Urea Acid effectively softens and breaks down calluses, promoting the gentle removal of dead skin cells.
  • Intensive Moisturization - Beyond callus removal, our cream deeply nourishes and hydrates the skin. The rich and emollient formula penetrates deep into the skin, providing long-lasting moisture that helps prevent the recurrence of calluses. Enjoy the luxury of velvety-smooth feet with each application.
Bestseller No. 6
Podiatry Student Handbook: (Second Edition)
  • Shi, Eric (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
Bestseller No. 7
Large Surgical-Grade Nail Clippers - Podiatrist-Recommended Stainless Steel Toenail Clippers - Pedicure Tools for Thick Toenails - Jaws Podiatry
  • Surgical-Grade Stainless Steel - Experience the pinnacle of quality with our toenail clipper, meticulously crafted from surgical-grade stainless steel. This premium material ensures longevity, corrosion resistance, and a sharp cutting edge that effortlessly trims even the toughest toenails.
  • Double Action Mycotic Nail Nipper - A specialized nail care tool designed to cut through thick, fungal-infected toenails and fingernails with ease and precision. Features a double-action mechanism to provide extra leverage, reducing hand strain and ensuring a clean, smooth cut. Ideal for both professional podiatrists and individuals managing mycotic nail conditions at home. Made from high-quality stainless steel for durability and easy sterilization.
SaleBestseller No. 8
Bestseller No. 9
Podiatry Medical Assistant Podiatrist Funny Podiatry Nurse T-Shirt
  • A funny podiatry graphic for medical assistants, nurses, foot doctors, specialists and physicians working in podiatric medicine in hospitals and medical clinics.
  • A podiatry medical assistant design for men and women.
SaleBestseller No. 10

I get commissions for purchases made through links on this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

“Akileine Akilwinter Chilblain Cream”