We have always believed that higher salt intake can negatively affect our health and blood pressure. And we have also heard all news, and read all article about the harmful effects of salt and potassium. Is that really true? According to the recent study, no – it is not.
Consumption of 3000 mg of salt per day doesn’t have an adverse effect on blood pressure in teen girls. Also, the girls who consumed 2400 mg of potassium per day had decreased blood pressure – according to the study whose results were published by JAMA Pediatrics (The Journal of American Medical Association).
Even though the scientific community, and the people in general, believed that most people in United States consume too much sodium and potassium, and that consumption of these ingredients can damage one’s health it must be noted that relationship between sodium and blood pressure is still unexamined.
The most recent study had the purpose to examine thoroughly the long-term effects of sodium and potassium on blood pressure through teen years and at the end of adolescence. The study was conducted by Lynn L. Moore, D.Sc. M.P.H. of the Boston University School of Medicine and her team. The researchers used the resources from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Growth and Health research. The study included 2185 participants. The participants were black and white girls aged from 9 to 10. The girls were followed up by the study for ten years.
The team who conducted the research didn’t find any evidence of adverse effect of high sodium intake on teen girls’ blood pressure. Additionally, there was evidence of decreased diastolic blood pressure in adolescent girls who consumed 3500 mg of salt per day. Their diastolic blood pressure was lower than in girls who consumed 2500 mg of salt per day. The study gathered its data and information through food consumption which was based on self-reports, and through blood pressure measuring. The measuring of blood pressure was done annually.
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The results of the study also showed that girls in highest category of potassium intake (more than 2400g of potassium per day) had lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure in late-adolescent years. Their systolic and diastolic blood pressure was lower than in girls who consumed less potassium.
Naturally, the girls who had higher intake of sodium and potassium also consumed more calories, dairy products, fiber, fruits and vegetables, than girls who consumed less potassium and sodium.
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This research showed that high intake of sodium and potassium can lower blood pressure (not increase it like it was widely believed). The high consumption of sodium and potassium doesn’t have harmful effects because the girls consume a lot of other products rich with nutrients and vitamins.
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Therefore, there is no need for global reduction in consumption of sodium and potassium for adolescents. Further, the study accentuates the need for developing the methods for estimation of salt sensitivity in future studies, and also the study emphasizes the risk of low potassium intake.