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Plant-derived nitrates are being recognized for their importance in cardiovascular health due to their role in maintaining nitric oxide levels. This perspective emphasizes the need to view dietary nitrates as potentially essential nutrients under certain conditions, such as systemic inflammation or when endogenous production is insufficient. The authors present data from epidemiological studies and meta-analyses supporting the inverse relationship between plant-derived dietary nitrates, blood pressure regulation, and cardiovascular health, advocating for nuanced dietary guidelines that consider the nitrate source.

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