High Salt Intake Can Impact Blood Pressure Even When On Meds
Posted Jul 21 2009 12:00am
Hypertension is a common health issue these days. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems, and heavy salt intake has long been known to contribute to the condition. A recent study at University of Alabama shows that a high-salt diet not only contributes to hypertension, but it can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications. The study looked at the effect of a low salt diet (1/2 tsp per day versus the normal 2 ½ tsp per day) on blood pressure while patients were taking their blood pressure medications. Those on the low-salt diet had an average drop of 22.7 points in systolic blood pressure (the higher of the reading, measured when the heart is contracting) and 9.1 points in diastolic blood pressure. Those on a regular salt diet saw no drop to an increase of blood pressure. Although many processed foods do contain salt, many brands have low salt versions and experts recommend eating more fresh foods to avoid large doses of sodium.