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Study: Moderate Salt Intake Effective for Lowering Blood Pressure
- Updated: August 14, 2014
According to a recent study at the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiologist, a moderate level of salt intake is the most effective means of lowering blood pressure. Conducted by three leading research institutes, researchers were able to associate serious risk of heart failure, heart attack, or stroke with the consumption of salt levels considered high or above five grams a day. While there is risk for everyone, this is especially a problem with people 55 or older and those who have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Low intake of sodium, which is considered less than three grams a day, lowers blood pressure a modest amount in comparison to a moderate intake of sodium. However, this same study found complications arose from the intake of lower salt levels as well, to include an increase in hormones that could heighten risk of cardiovascular diseases or even death.
While much of the focus is placed on lowering salt in a person’s diet, an important yet often ignored approach to reducing blood pressure consists of increasing the consumption of potassium. In fact, many experts agree this approach is likely the best and most beneficial for reducing blood pressure. By incorporating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in combination with a moderate intake of salt, this goal can be achieved.
Also included in this study, scientists followed more than 100,000 people during a four-year period whereby intake of sodium, as well as potassium, was measured. That measurement was then used to determine any influence on blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and death rates. As discovered, the lowest death and cardiovascular risk rates were witnessed in participants that consumed moderate daily rates of sodium, which was between three and six grams daily.
The study’s principle investigator explained that the reduction of salt should be targeted mainly at people with high salt consumption and high blood pressure. Just this past week, the findings from this study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.