Low-salt diet strongly reduce high blood pressure, study finds

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Recent findings presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2023 demonstrate that a significant reduction in daily sodium intake can notably lower systolic blood pressure in adults aged 50 to 75.

This study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, underscores the impact of dietary sodium on blood pressure management.

Understanding the Study

Researchers from Vanderbilt University conducted a randomized trial on over 200 adults, examining the effects of varying sodium intake on blood pressure levels.

The study involved a high-sodium diet (adding 2,200 mg of sodium daily) and a low-sodium diet (limiting to 500 mg of sodium daily), each followed for one week.

Key Findings

Blood Pressure Reduction: Participants on the low-sodium diet experienced a significant drop in systolic blood pressure, nearly 7-8 mm Hg lower compared to the high-sodium group, and 6 mm Hg lower than their usual diet.

Effectiveness Across Groups: The blood pressure reduction was consistent among individuals with normal, treated, and untreated high blood pressure.

Challenges of High Sodium Intake: The usual diet for most participants already contained high sodium levels (about 4,500 mg/day), indicating a pervasive issue of excessive sodium consumption.

Implications for Public Health

Dr. Deepak K. Gupta, leading the study, emphasized that reducing dietary sodium can rapidly and safely lower blood pressure within a week.

This finding supports the American Heart Association’s guidelines recommending reduced sodium intake to manage blood pressure effectively.

Trial Background and Considerations

The trial included a diverse participant group, with 25% having untreated high blood pressure and 20% with diabetes.

Participants consumed commercially available low-sodium foods, highlighting the practicality of achieving such a diet.

The study’s limitations include the short-term nature of the dietary interventions and the absence of direct supervision of participants’ diets.

Moving Forward

This research provides crucial insights into how dietary changes, specifically sodium reduction, can significantly influence blood pressure control.

It encourages public health efforts to promote lower sodium consumption as a practical and effective strategy to combat high blood pressure and related health issues.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about Popular blood pressure pill could cause problems and findings of Common blood pressure drugs and memory trouble: a plain talk.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about 5 medicines to treat high blood pressure, and results showing diets high in flavonoids could help reduce stroke risk.

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