Salt Reduction Helps Blood Pressure A Tiny Bit, But May Raise Cholesterol Levels

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Reducing salt intake is said to have a beneficial effect on blood pressure, especially among those who already suffer from hypertension. However, one of the undesirable effects of consuming much less salt is a higher risk of elevated levels of blood cholesterol and triglycerides, researchers from Denmark reported in The American Journal of Hypertension. They also found that the benefits of sodium reduction on blood pressure are tiny. The authors explained that recent population studies have linked sodium consumption with illness and higher death rates (morbidity and mortality). These studies have triggered various moves to get people to reduce salt intake as a preventive measure (prophylaxis). However, they add that many of the studies have conflicting evidence. The researchers added that recent studies have shown that reducing salt intake for a patient with diabetes or heart failure may actually be harmful. The researchers explained that so far, salt intake reduction recommendations have been based on its effect on just one marker blood pressure. Believing that consuming less salt protects from heart disease and early death is still a "hypothetical benefit". They reviewed 167 studies and found that reduced salt intake had a very slight benefit in lowering blood pressure, but that cholesterol and triglyceride levels rise. The average drop in systolic BP was -1.27 and diastolic BP was -0.5, a negligible benefit. Finally the researchers explains that low- vs. high-sodium diet in Caucasians with normal BP decreases BP

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