Reducing sodium intake could help prevent and treat high blood pressure

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Scientists from UCSI University and elsewhere found reducing sodium intake can effectively prevent and treat high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body.

Blood pressure is measured using two numbers: The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.

The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.

High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death for Americans. High blood pressure is also very common.

Tens of millions of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, and many do not have it under control.

High sodium intake has been found to be linked to increased blood pressure.

Decreasing sodium intake in daily diets can effectively reduce blood pressure, especially in people with high blood pressure, but the extent of reduction remains unclear.

In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the effectiveness of different sodium reduction strategies on blood pressure reduction.

They reviewed published studies on sodium intake and blood pressure published from 23 March 2008 to 23 March 2021.

A total of 26 studies were included and divided into four groups based on the types of interventions used in the research, including:

a low-sodium diet (1) in a group with or without added sodium, (2) through food substitutes, (3) through health education and behavior change, and (4) through salt substitutes.

The researchers found the reduction of dietary sodium intake resulted in a mean difference of 4.51 mmHg in systolic blood pressure and 2.42 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure.

The effectiveness of these strategies was approximated from the difference in 24-h urinary sodium excretion between the intervention and control groups, which was 53.74 mmol/day.

When analyzing the data, the team found the low-sodium diet without added sodium showed the greatest differences in blood pressure (7.58/4.01 mmHg) and 24-h urinary sodium excretion (101.49 mmol/day).

But the low-sodium diet through food substitutes yielded the lowest differences in blood pressure (2.26/0.81 mmHg) and 24-h urinary sodium excretion (25.78 mmol/day).

Based on the findings, the team suggests that reducing sodium intake can be an effective strategy for the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure.

The research was published in Hypertension Research and conducted by Jiong Soon Lai et al.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies that drinking tea could help lower blood pressure, and early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about added sugar in your diet linked to higher blood pressure, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.

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