NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH VIA SCITECH DAILY – New research shows that reducing dietary sodium significantly lowers blood pressure in individuals, regardless of whether they have hypertension or are on medication.
The study, involving 213 participants with diverse backgrounds, found that a low-sodium diet led to an average decrease of 7 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure.
These results, applicable to a wide range of individuals, suggest that lowering sodium intake is as effective as common hypertension medications in managing blood pressure.
Research reveals that a low-sodium diet significantly lowers blood pressure, benefiting individuals with or without hypertension and those on blood pressure medications.
Lowering sodium intake significantly reduced blood pressure in most people, even those who were already taking blood pressure medications.
The findings suggest that consuming less sodium could have health benefits in a wide range of people.
Half of all Americans have high blood pressure, or hypertension. Blood pressure is considered high when systolic readings (the top number, the pressure when blood is pumped out of the heart) are consistently over 130 mm Hg or diastolic readings (the bottom number, between heartbeats when the heart is filling with blood) are 80 mm Hg or higher.
Role of Sodium in Hypertension
Although sodium is crucial to the human body, too much contributes to high blood pressure. The sensitivity of blood pressure to sodium, however, varies from person to person.
This makes it difficult to determine what counts as a healthy amount of sodium in someone’s diet.
Also, most studies of low-sodium diets have excluded people taking blood pressure-lowering medications. So, it isn’t clear how much reducing sodium intake would affect people taking these medications.
Research Study on Dietary Sodium and Blood Pressure
An NIH-funded research team led by Dr. Deepak Gupta at Vanderbilt University Medical Center studied the effect of dietary sodium on blood pressure in 213 people, ages 50-75 (65% women and 64% Black). Participants with both normal and high blood pressures were enrolled …