Reducing salt intake by one teaspoon a day lowers blood pressure the same ... trends now
Reducing daily salt intake by just one teaspoon can be as effective as blood pressure medication, a new study has suggested.
Researchers from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, tested high and low-salt diets on hundreds of patients, some of who had existing high blood pressure, and found that cutting out a can of Heinz soup each day lowered people's blood pressure by six percent within just a week.
This reduction was comparable with thiazide diuretic hydrochlorothiazide, a popular blood pressure medication.
Salt makes the body hold onto water, meaning reduced salt intake lowers the water content in your blood and leads to less pressure on the blood vessel walls, which lowers blood pressure.
High blood pressure is the most common worldwide chronic disease condition, with more than 1.3 billion individuals affected. The condition is also a major risk factor for heart, brain and kidney disease.
Study leader Dr Deepak Gupta, assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, told DailyMail.com the study showed that 'within a week you can see rapid results, and the effect... you're off one blood pressure medication.'
Researchers from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee , found that a reduced sodium diet lowered people's blood pressure within just a week, to a point comparable with popular blood pressure medication
Salt is considered one of the main causes of high blood pressure. The mineral is essential to keep our body fluids at the right level of saltiness so that nerve and muscle cells, including the heart, can function properly.
But too much salt causes the body to retain water. This increases blood pressure which, in turn, puts a strain on blood vessels, the heart and the kidneys.
American adults are estimated to have 3.5g of salt a day, exceeding recommendations by the World Health Organization of 2g a day and the US Department of Health and Human Services and the American Heart Association's guideline of 2.3g daily.
It's been estimated that excess salt has contributed to around 1.9 million deaths annually.
In the study, which took place between April 2021 and February 2023 in Chicago, Illinois, and Birmingham, Alabama, 213 participants aged 50 to 75 years ate a high-sodium for a week, followed by a low-sodium diet for a week, or vice versa.
The median age of participants was 61 years. Some 65 percent were female, and 64 percent were Black.
For the high-sodium diet, participants ate an extra teaspoon of salt per