World Health Day 2013: Cutting down on salt reduces stroke risk
Washington: Cutting down on salt and, at the same time, increasing levels of potassium in our diet will have major health and cost benefits across the world, a new study suggests.
Such a strategy will save millions of lives every year from heart disease and stroke, experts said.
Much evidence shows that reducing salt intake lowers blood pressure and thereby reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Less is known about the potential benefits of increasing potassium intake, but lower potassium consumption has been linked with elevated blood pressure.
The World Health Organisation has therefore set a global goal to reduce dietary salt intake to 5-6 g (about one teaspoon) per person per day by 2025, yet salt intake in many countries is currently much higher than this.
In the UK, NICE recommends a reduction in salt intake to 3 g per day by 2025 for the adult population.
The first study examined the effects of modest salt reduction on blood pressure, hormones, and blood fats (lipids) from 34 trials involving over 3,000 adults.
It found a modest reduction in salt for four or more weeks led to significant falls in blood pressure in people with both raised and normal blood pressure.
The effect was seen in white and black people and in men and women, thereby reducing strokes, heart attacks, and heart failure across populations.
However, the researchers believe current recommendations "are not ideal" and say a further reduction to 3 g per day "should become the long term target for population salt intake."
Similar results were found in a second analysis of 56 studies; of which 37 were high quality studies reporting blood pressure, blood lipids, catecholamine levels or renal function.
It found that reduced salt intake reduces blood pressure and has no adverse effect on blood lipids, hormone levels, or kidney function.
Moderate quality evidence in children also showed a reduction in sodium intake reduces blood pressure.
Lower sodium intake was also associated with reduced risk of stroke and fatal coronary heart disease in adults.
"The totality of evidence suggests that reducing sodium intake should be part of public health efforts to reduce blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases, and will likely benefit most individuals," the authors said.
A third study analysed data on potassium intake and health from 33 trials involving over 128,000 healthy participants. Potassium is found in most fresh fruits and vegetables and pulses (legumes).
The results show that increased potassium intake reduces blood pressure in adults, with no adverse effects on blood lipids, hormone levels or kidney function.
Higher potassium intake was linked with a 24 percent lower risk of stroke in adults and may also have a beneficial effect on blood pressure in children, but more data is needed.
The study is published on bmj.com.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- Zee Media Exclusive: The plight of yoga expert Tejaswi Sharma
- Woman denied flat in Mumbai for being a Muslim
- 4 Indians in Forbes' 100 most powerful women list
- Heat ave continues in India, death toll climbs to over 1,400
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads
- Megastar Amitabh Bachchan slapped with Rs 1 crore notice
- Kenyan lawyer offers to marry Barack Obama's daughter Malia
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads- Part II
- AIB: The 'Third Gender's right to dignity'
- Salman Khan accident files burnt in Mantralaya fire
- Maggi likely to face ban in India!
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced today
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark
- First look: Salman Khan steals thunder in `Bajrangi Bhaijaan`
- mahresult.nic.in updated with MSBSHSE Maharashtra HSC Class XII Result 2015
- Check cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 10 Result 2015
- Manmohan Singh defends himself on 2G charge, slams Modi govt for 'carbon copy' schemes
- Sonia Gandhi 'unconstitutional authority' during UPA: PM Narendra Modi
- CBSE Class 10 (Class X Board) Result 2015 on cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in at 2 pm
- Hours after attacking NDA govt, Manmohan Singh meets PM Narendra Modi
- Reservation stir: Five percent job quota to Gujjars unlikely, hints Rajasthan govt
- PMO website revamped, now send e-mail to PM Modi directly
- Death toll climbs to over 1400 as intense heatwave continues in India