"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

1 teaspoon of salt is pretty much as good as blood pressure medication

November 13, 2023 – Reducing your salt consumption by 1 teaspoon every day provides the identical blood pressure-lowering advantages as popular hypertension medications, in response to a brand new study published in JAMA Network.

“In the study, middle-aged to older participants reduced their salt intake by about one teaspoon per day in comparison with their usual weight loss plan. The result was a decrease in systolic blood pressure of about 6 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), which is comparable to the effect of a commonly used first-line hypertension drug,” said Deepak Gupta, MD, associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and co- Study director, said in a Press release.

The study involved 213 people ages 50 to 75 whose blood pressure was measured during their regular, high- and low-sodium diets. About a quarter of them had normal blood pressure and another 25% had untreated high blood pressure. About 20% had blood pressure under control and 31% did not.

During a week of high-salt eating, participants ate their regular diet plus two bouillon packets that contained about 2,200 milligrams of sodium. During the low-salt week, they ate meals and snacks prepared for them, with instructions not to eat anything else. The goal of the low-salt week was to give each person just 500 milligrams of salt every day.

The low-sodium diet resulted in an average reduction of 8 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure, the first value in blood pressure measurement, compared to a high-sodium diet. The low-salt diet resulted in a 6 mm reduction in HG compared to a normal diet.

“We found that 70-75% of individuals, whether or not they are already taking blood pressure medication or not, are prone to see a discount of their blood pressure after they reduce the quantity of sodium of their weight loss plan,” said co-study leader Norrina Allen, PhD, professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine said within the news release.

High blood pressure is the leading reason behind morbidity and mortality worldwide. The American Heart Association recommends that an individual's total every day sodium intake ought to be lower than 1,500 mg.