Hypertension, salt reduction like the drug: blood pressure drops after a week

Hypertension, salt reduction like the drug: blood pressure drops after a week

Get your taste buds used to a pinch less salt. And pay a little more attention to the labels, to evaluate the presence of sodium, and put aside the foods that contain it. Thus, with a simple move at the table, a significant blow is dealt to hypertension. Or in any case the values ​​of the systoliccontributing to cardiovascular well-being and keeping this silent “killer” that increases the risk of iheart attack, stroke and kidney problems. By reducing the amount of sodium that enters the body with food by 4 grams per day, therefore with a low sodium content diet, in adults between 50 and 75 years of age in seven days a drop in the “maximum” equal to 7-8 millimeters of mercury, more or less in three out of four cases, compared to what was observed in the case of a diet particularly rich in sodium. But be careful: even in those who didn’t already exaggerate (even if they consumed excess sodium) the advantage is significant. Compared to the usual diet, the drop in systolic blood pressure is on average 6 millimeters of mercury. A new appeal to reduce salt is launched by research presented at the American Heart Association Congress held in Philadelphia and published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

How important it is to reduce sodium

The study, coordinated by Deepak K. Gupta of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, examined 213 people between the ages of 50 and 75 recruited as part of the study CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) and in other ways. The subjects considered were divided into two groups. In one, 2.2 grams of sodium was added to the usual daily diet, in the other the sodium content was reduced to 0.5 grams per day. Then, after a week, the diet of the other group was continued. Finally, after each week of the diet, blood pressure was checked for 24 hours. In almost 75% of subjects on the low-sodium diet, a decrease in systolic blood pressure was obtained, with reductions similar to those observed after treatment with a first-line drug for hypertension. But be careful: as soon as we returned to a diet rich in sodium, the blood pressure rose again, compared to what was observed after the drastic drop in sodium intake. Final summary, revealed in a note from the Scientific Association by Gupta himself: “The results indicate that lowering blood pressure through reducing dietary sodium can be achieved safely and rapidly within one week.”

Effects also in those undergoing therapy and in diabetics

The investigation also shows that the impact of dietary sodium reduction is observed both in those with normal blood pressure values ​​and in hypertensives treated with drugs and also in those who have hypertension but are not following specific therapies. The effects on blood pressure were also observed in people with diabetes: more or less 20% of the study participants suffered from this condition. “This reinforces the importance of reducing dietary sodium intake to help control blood pressure, even among individuals already taking medications for hypertension,” says Gupta. Just as any physical activity is better than none for For most people, any reduction in sodium from their current usual diet is probably better than none.”

What did you eat during the study

The low-sodium diet started with a breakfast of oatmeal, Greek yogurt and grapes. For lunch she offered fruit, a bag of chips and a chicken salad, lentil soup or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For dinner, fruit, a bottle of 1 percent low-fat milk, and a low-sodium frozen burrito, low-sodium frozen vegetable lasagna, or a low-sodium rice and vegetable entrée. Participants on the high-sodium diet added 2.2 grams of sodium to their regular daily diet by consuming two packets of chicken broth per day. The estimated average total daily sodium intake for people on a high-sodium diet was 5 grams per day, far above recommended allowances. According to the World Health Organization, every day we should consume less than 5 grams of table salt, between that already present in foods and that added, which corresponds to approximately 2 grams of sodium.

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