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Does Sodium Increase Blood Pressure?

Doctors and Registered Dietitians have recommended low salt diets to people with high blood pressure for many years.  However, new findings contradict that advice.  So the question has come about again asking, “Does sodium increase blood pressure”?

The average American intake 3.7 grams of sodium per day.  The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium intake to 1.5 grams per day.

New research answers the question, “Does sodium increase blood pressure”?

 

The study was done in Canada and appeared in the British Journal called “Lancet” in 2016, Jul 30;388(10043):465-75. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30467-6. Epub 2016 May 20.

They reviewed data from four studies that included 133,000 people.

Here were the findings:

(Low sodium intake is considered to be less than 3 grams per day)

-Low sodium intake raises health risks, regardless of a person’s blood pressure status.

-Low sodium intake is associated with more heart attacks, strokes and deaths compared to average intake.

Ranges of sodium intake:

People with normal blood pressure whose intake was less than 3 grams per day were 26% more likely to die.  They didn’t find a high end of sodium intake that caused problems, however they did state that an intake of 7 grams per day didn’t increase the risk of death.

People with high blood pressure whose sodium intake was less than 3 grams per day were 34% more likely to suffer an adverse event such as a stroke or heart attack.  They found a high end sodium intake of 6 grams per day that increased adverse cardiovascular events by 23%

This means that if you have high blood pressure, you should have a sodium intake between 3 to 6 grams per day.  Remember, the American daily sodium intake average is 3.7 grams per day.

 

Your doctor, registered dietitian, nurse or nutritionist may not be aware of this research relating sodium and blood pressure, please show them this article and this website.

 

For a list of foods and smoothie recipes you should be eating for blood pressure, click here.

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