Low-salt DASH diet could help reduce heart attack, heart failure risks

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In a study from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, scientists found that dietary interventions, like the Dietary, Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and low sodium consumption, can reduce heart disease risk factors in a relatively short time period.

They assessed the effects of sodium reduction on heart health biomarkers, alone or combined with the DASH diet.

The team tested 412 adults with systolic blood pressure (BP) of 120 to 159 mm Hg and diastolic BP of 80 to 95 mm Hg, who were randomly assigned to either the DASH diet or a control diet.

Participants consumed each of three sodium levels for four weeks: low (50 mmol/day), medium (100 mmol/day), and high (150 mmol/day).

The researchers found that the DASH diet reduced heart attack risk factors by 18% and 13%.

Independent of diet, lowering sodium from high to low levels reduced heart failure risk by 19%.

Compared with the high sodium-control diet, combining DASH with sodium reduction lowered heart attack risk by 20% and heart failure risk by 23%.

The team says they used highly sensitive markers of heart disease to show how two dietary methods can improve heart damage in a relatively short time period.

The findings suggest that the improvements in heart disease risk factors from a reduced-sodium, DASH diet may also reduce concurrent cardiac damage.

This study has important clinical implications, and these findings could help promote the DASH dietary pattern and lower sodium intake in the United States and globally.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about the best blood sugar levels to prevent strokes and heart attacks, and Vitamin K may lower your heart disease risk by a third.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about why obesity increases heart damage in COVID-19, and results showing this drug combo can halve your risk of heart attack and stroke.

The study was conducted by Stephen P. Juraschek et al and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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