Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Consumption of 'good salt' can reduce population blood pressure levels, research finds

Date:
September 15, 2010
Source:
Wageningen University and Research Centre
Summary:
An increased intake of 'good' potassium salts could contribute significantly to improving blood pressure at the population level, according to new research. The favorable effect brought about by potassium is even estimated to be comparable with the blood pressure reduction achievable by halving the intake of 'bad' sodium salts (mostly from table salt).

An increased intake of 'good' potassium salts could contribute significantly to improving blood pressure at the population level, according to new research. The favourable effect brought about by potassium is even estimated to be comparable with the blood pressure reduction achievable by halving the intake of 'bad' sodium salts (mostly from table salt).

Those are the conclusions drawn by Linda van Mierlo and her colleagues at Wageningen University, part of Wageningen UR, and Unilever in their investigation of the consumption of potassium in 21 countries. An article describing their findings appears in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

The risk of developing cardiovascular diseases rises as blood pressure increases. In Western countries only 20-30% of the population has 'optimal' blood pressure, with the systolic (maximum) pressure being lower than 120 mm Hg and the diastolic (minimum) pressure lower than 80 mm Hg. Blood pressure increases with age in most people. Men more often have a higher blood pressure than women.

Diet and lifestyle plays an important role in managing blood pressure. High intakes of sodium and low intakes of potassium have unfavorable effects on blood pressure. Therefore, reducing the consumption of sodium and increasing the consumption of potassium are both good ways to improve blood pressure.

The study carried out by food researchers from the Human Nutrition department at Wageningen University and from the Nutrition & Health department at Unilever demonstrates that the average potassium intake in 21 countries including the US, China, New Zealand, Germany and the Netherlands varies between 1.7 and 3.7 g a day. This is considerably lower than the 4.7 g a day, which has been recommended based on the positive health effects observed at this level of intake.

A hypothetical increase in the potassium intake to the recommended level would reduce the systolic blood pressure in the populations of these countries by between 1.7 and 3.2 mm Hg. This corresponds with the reduction that would occur if Western consumers were to take in 4 g of salt less per day. The intakes of both potassium and sodium are therefore of importance in preventing high blood pressure.

Earlier studies have shown that salt reduction of 3 g per day in food could reduce blood pressure and prevent 2500 deaths per year due to cardiovascular diseases in the Netherlands. In Western countries, salt consumption can be as high as 9-12 g a day whereas 5 g is the recommended amount according to WHO standards. Most household salt is to be found in processed foods such as bread, ready-made meals, soups, sauces and savoury snacks and pizzas. An effective way of increasing potassium intake is to follow the guidelines for healthy nutrition more closely, including a higher consumption of vegetables and fruit. In addition, the use of mineral salts in processed foods -- by which sodium is partly replaced by potassium -- would contribute to an improved intake of both sodium and potassium.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wageningen University and Research Centre. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Linda A. J. van Mierlo; Arno Greyling; Peter L. Zock; Frans J. Kok; Johanna M. Geleijnse. Suboptimal Potassium Intake and Potential Impact on Population Blood Pressure. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2010; 170 (16): 1501-1502 DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2010.284

Cite This Page:

Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Consumption of 'good salt' can reduce population blood pressure levels, research finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100913161826.htm>.
Wageningen University and Research Centre. (2010, September 15). Consumption of 'good salt' can reduce population blood pressure levels, research finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100913161826.htm
Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Consumption of 'good salt' can reduce population blood pressure levels, research finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100913161826.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Ebola Cases Could Eventually Reach 20,000

UN: Ebola Cases Could Eventually Reach 20,000

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa eventually could exceed 20,000 cases, more than six times as many as are known now, the World Health Organization said as the US announced plans to test an experimental Ebola vaccine. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
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