What would happen if we ate a teaspoon less salt a day?

A significant drop in blood pressure values ​​will be noticed by those who decide to reduce the amount of salt they consume daily by one teaspoon. According to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2023 and published in Journal of the American Medical Association, it is an effective movement and independent of whether antihypertensive treatment is followed.

According to lead researcher Deepak Gupta, Associate Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the US, the decrease in systolic blood pressure (big) by about 6 units (millimeters of mercury/mm Hg) achieved by participants with the dietary intervention was comparable to the results of a widely used drug of choice for hypertension. 70-75% of all participants were able to see their blood pressure drop, added Norrina Allen, Ph.D., professor of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

The study is one of the largest to investigate the effect of reducing sodium (salt) in the diet on blood pressure. Her goal was to demonstrate that the daily intake of 1,500 mg of salt (one teaspoon) recommended by the American Heart Association can be further reduced to to strengthen the prevention of hypertensionthe biggest threat to the heart.

The study


The researchers included 213 people aged 50 to 70 from the cities of Birmingham, Alabama and Chicago. They were randomly divided into two dietary groups, one high in sodium (2,200 mg daily in addition to their usual diet) and one low (500 mg total daily) which they followed for one week. After seven days, the eating patterns reversed. Before each study visit, blood pressure was measured and a 24-hour urine collection was performed.

Compared to the high-salt diet, the low-sodium diet was associated with decrease in systolic blood pressure by 7 to 8 units, and by 6 units compared to the usual diet of the participants. Overall, the 72% of participants recorded a reduction in their systolic blood pressure thanks to the low-salt diet compared to the usual diet.

«The reduction in blood pressure from the lower dietary sodium intake was seen in almost all subjects, including those with normotensive, high blood pressure, and controlled or uncontrolled hypertension. Just as any form of physical activity is better than inactivity for most people, any reduction in sodium in the diet is probably better than nothing when it comes to blood pressurecommented Dr. Gupta.

The researchers pointed out that the safety of nutritional intervention and its immediate results in just seven days they are campaigning for a revision of the guideline on daily salt intake, especially given that salt substitutes and low-sodium products are available in abundance.

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