In a nutshell
This study looked at the acceptability and effect on blood pressure of replacing normal salt with a salt substitute. It found that the salt substitute resulted in a drop in blood pressure compared to normal salt.
High salt intake is a risk factor for high blood pressure. Replacing salt with salt substitutes may help to reduce blood pressure. However, it is not clear how effective or acceptable replacing regular salt (100% sodium) with a salt substitute (70% sodium-30% potassium) is to patients.
Methods & findings
502 patients with high blood pressure were involved in this study. Group 1 used normal salt (100% sodium) while group 2 were given a salt substitute (70% sodium/ 30% potassium). Patients' blood pressure was checked at the start and again at 3 months.
After 3 months, patients using the salt substitute had an average systolic blood pressure (SBP; blood pressure when the heart beats) reduction of 4.6 mmHg. They also had an average diastolic blood pressure (DBP; blood pressure between heartbeats) reduction of 1.1 mmHg. Patients also reported that the salt substitute tasted similar to normal salt.
No side effects related to the salt were reported.
The bottom line
This study showed that the added potassium salt substitute is a good alternative to normal salt and can help to reduce blood pressure.
The fine print
This study only involved Indian patients. More studies are needed to see if these findings apply to other ethnicities as well.
Published By :
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Mar 30, 2021