Eating less salt may not lower your blood pressure, a major new study has found contradicting the popular belief.
Researchers from Boston University in the US followed about 2,632 men and women 30 to 64 years old for 16 years. The participants had normal blood pressure at the start of the study.
They found that over the 16 years the participants who consumed less than 2500 milligrammes of sodium a day had higher blood pressure than participants who consumed higher amounts of sodium.
They also found that people in the study who had higher intakes of potassium, calcium and magnesium exhibited lower blood pressure over the long term.
People with higher combined intakes of sodium (3717 milligrammes per day on average) and potassium (3211 milligrammes per day on average on average) had the lowest blood pressure, according to the study.
“We saw no evidence that a diet lower in sodium had any long-term beneficial effects on blood pressure,” said Lynn L Moore, associate professor at Boston University.
“This study and others point to the importance of higher potassium intakes, in particular, on blood pressure and probably cardiovascular outcomes as well,” said Moore.
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