Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reducing Salt Intake Isn't The Only Way To Reduce Blood Pressure

Date:
January 28, 2009
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Most people know that too much sodium from foods can increase blood pressure. A new study suggests that people trying to lower their blood pressure should also boost their intake of potassium, which has the opposite effect to sodium. Researchers found that the ratio of sodium-to-potassium in subjects' urine was a much stronger predictor of cardiovascular disease than sodium or potassium alone.

Most people know that too much sodium from foods can increase blood pressure. A new study suggests that people trying to lower their blood pressure should also boost their intake of potassium, which has the opposite effect to sodium.

Researchers found that the ratio of sodium-to-potassium in subjects' urine was a much stronger predictor of cardiovascular disease than sodium or potassium alone.

"There isn't as much focus on potassium, but potassium seems to be effective in lowering blood pressure and the combination of a higher intake of potassium and lower consumption of sodium seems to be more effective than either on its own in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Paul Whelton, senior author of the study in the January 2009 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Whelton is an epidemiologist and president and CEO of Loyola University Health System.

Researchers determined average sodium and potassium intake during two phases of a study known as the Trials of Hypertension Prevention. They collected 24-hour urine samples intermittently during an 18-month period in one trial and during a 36-month period in a second trial. The 2,974 study participants initially aged 30-to-54 and with blood pressure readings just under levels considered high, were followed for 10-15 years to see if they would develop cardiovascular disease. Whelton was national chair of the Trials of Hypertension Prevention.

Those with the highest sodium levels in their urine were 20 percent more likely to suffer strokes, heart attacks or other forms of cardiovascular disease compared with their counterparts with the lowest sodium levels. However this link was not strong enough to be considered statistically significant.

By contrast, participants with the highest sodium-to-potassium ratio in urine were 50 percent more likely to experience cardiovascular disease than those with the lowest sodium-to-potassium ratios. This link was statistically significant.

Most previous studies of the relationship between sodium or potassium and cardiovascular disease have had to rely on people's recall or record of what foods they eat to estimate their level of sodium consumption. This is a less precise measure of sodium intake than urine samples. In addition, many have been cross-sectional rather than follow-up studies.

The new study "is a quantum leap in the quality of the data compared to what we have had before," Whelton said.

Whelton was a member of a recent Institute of Medicine panel that set dietary recommendations for salt and potassium. The panel said healthy 19-to-50 year-old adults should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day -- equivalent to one teaspoon of table salt. More than 95 percent of American men and 75 percent of American women in this age range exceed this amount.

To lower blood pressure and blunt the effects of salt, adults should consume 4.7 grams of potassium per day unless they have a clinical condition or medication need that is a contraindication to increased potassium intake. Most American adults aged 31-to-50 consume only about half as much as recommended in the Institute of Medicine report. Changes in diet and physical activity should be under the supervision of a health care professional.

Good potassium sources include fruits, vegetables, dairy foods and fish. Foods that are especially rich in potassium include potatoes and sweet potatoes, fat-free milk and yogurt, tuna, lima beans, bananas, tomato sauce and orange juice. Potassium also is available in supplements.

Whelton is among the nation's top experts on high blood pressure. He has published more than 400 papers on the subject, and has been the principal investigator on more than $100 million of studies funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Co-authors of the Archives study include Nancy Cook (first author), Julie Buring and Dr. Kathryn Rexrode of Brigham and Women's Hospital; Eva Obarzanek and Dr. Jeffrey Cutler of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; Dr. Lawrence Appel of Johns Hopkins University and Shiriki Kumanyika of the University of Pennsylvania.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Reducing Salt Intake Isn't The Only Way To Reduce Blood Pressure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126173839.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2009, January 28). Reducing Salt Intake Isn't The Only Way To Reduce Blood Pressure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126173839.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Reducing Salt Intake Isn't The Only Way To Reduce Blood Pressure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126173839.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins