Case Study: Exploring the Therapeutic Potential of Nitrate Supplements


In the global battle against hypertension, novel therapeutic approaches are essential to alleviate the burden of cardiovascular diseases. Nitrate supplements have emerged as a promising avenue, potentially offering a safer and more accessible alternative to traditional vasodilators. This study, led by Dr. Stephen Baker and Dr. Daniel Kim-Shapiro at Wake Forest University, centers on the precise detection of nitric oxide derivatives (NOx) in human plasma via HPLC methods. Their efforts are pivotal in elucidating the mechanisms underlying nitrate’s vasodilatory effects. By meticulously analyzing nitrate and nitrite levels in plasma samples, Dr. Baker and Dr. Kim-Shapiro aim to deepen our understanding of the biological NOx conversion process and its impact on blood pressure regulation. This investigation holds significant implications for clinical practice, offering insights into the potential substitution of nitrate supplements for conventional medications. Through their research, they aspire to pave the way for personalized and effective hypertension management strategies, ultimately enhancing cardiovascular health on a global scale.

Research Objective

The primary objective of the research is to study the therapeutic potential of nitrate supplements in reducing blood pressure. By utilizing HPLC methods to detect nitric oxide derivatives (NOx) in human plasma samples, the team aims to understand how nitrate supplements can be substituted for traditional vasodilators. Dr. Baker explains, “We are interested in studying how nitrate supplements could be substituted for vasodilators to reduce blood pressure. We use the ENO-30 system to measure nitrate and nitrite levels in plasma, which allows us to process a high number of samples efficiently.”



One of the major challenges faced by the research team is the high volume of samples that need to be processed within tight deadlines, especially due to ongoing clinical trials. Dr. Baker highlights, “Timing and sample numbers can be challenging. Last week, I ran the ENO every day and analyzed approximately 300 samples, including overnight runs. More typically, we run 20-40 samples during the week across a few days.” Additionally, while the ENO-30 system provides reliable NOx measurements, the team must ensure consistent sample quality and deal with the complexities of maintaining the precision of the HPLC detection method. Balancing high throughput with accurate and reliable data collection remains a critical aspect of their research workflow.