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High Blood Pressure Not Caused by Salt – Says New Study
- Updated: September 10, 2014
For years, the public has been educated about the dangers of salt causing problems of high blood pressure but according to a new study published in the American Journal of Hypertension, this might not be the case. As part of this study, 8,670 French adults participated and from data collected, researchers determined that the consumption of salt did not affect systolic blood pressure in both men and women.
Authors of the study believe the assumption of salt being linked to high blood pressure is way overstated but also more complicated than initially thought. However, while this study was unable to find any statistical and significant connection between high salt intake and high blood pressure, the participants with hypertension did consume quite a bit more salt than participants without high blood pressure. For this reason, the research suggests the effect of salt is unique based on the person.
Some of the specific things that were proven to cause an increase in blood pressure include age, BMI, and alcohol consumption whereas a decline was noted by consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables. However, the authors continued by saying that the first goal toward reducing high blood pressure is to lose excess weight.
Interestingly, people in the United States are given warnings all the time about the amount and type of food in diets. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued findings that 90% of American children eat more sodium than healthy guidelines suggest with about 50% coming directly from processed foods like cheese, processed chicken, pasta, pizza, bread, soup, and so on.
According to the CDC, salt has a strong influence on blood pressure. Janelle Gunn, of CDC’s Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention states that the totality of evidence is considered in making this claim. She also says that much of the scientific research supports the new study’s findings of a reduction of salt intake helping to lower high blood pressure.
The science surrounding salt is confusing and there have been conflicting findings from numerous studies. As such, neither the side for or against salt as it relates to hypertension has won the debate. Regardless, researchers, scientists, and medical professionals all agree that reducing salt intake will certainly not hurt but again, dropping unhealthy weight is the most important aspect of lowering hypertension.