The close relationship between hypertension and dietary sodium intake is widely recognized and supported by several studies. A reduction in dietary sodium not only decreases the blood pressure and the incidence of hypertension, but is also associated with a reduction in morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Prolonged modest reduction in salt intake induces a relevant fall in blood pressure in both hypertensive and normotensive individuals, irrespective of sex and ethnic group, with larger falls in systolic blood pressure for larger reductions in dietary salt. In this review, we have focused on the effects of sodium intake on vascular hemodynamics and their implication in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Available evidence suggests a direct relationship between sodium intake and blood pressure BP values [ 1, 2, 3, 4 ]. Conversely, reduction in sodium intake not only decreases BP levels and hypertension incidence, but is also associated with a reduction in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality [ 8 ]. A large meta-analysis [ 9 ] showed that modest reduction in salt intake for four or more weeks causes a significant fall in BP in both hypertensive and normotensive individuals, irrespective of sex and ethnic group, and larger reductions in salt intake are linked to larger falls in systolic BP [ 9 ]. However, the current health policies have not reached an effective achievement for the reduction of dietary sodium in the population and the positive effects of a reduced sodium intake on BP levels tend to decrease with time, owing to poor dietary compliance. The pathophysiological link between sodium intake and increase in BP values has been widely debated. Increased salt consumption may provoke water retention, thus leading to a condition of high flow in arterial vessels. The mechanism of pressure natriuresis has been proposed as a physiologic phenomenon where an increase in BP in the renal arteries causes increased salt and water excretion [ 10 ].
Over the past century, salt has been the subject of intense scientific research related to blood pressure elevation and cardiovascular mortalities. Moderate reduction of dietary salt intake is generally an effective measure to reduce blood pressure. However, recently some in the academic society and lay media dispute the benefits of salt restriction, pointing to inconsistent outcomes noted in some observational studies. The World Health Organization WHO strongly recommended to reduce dietary salt intake as one of the top priority actions to tackle the global non-communicable disease crisis and has urged member nations to take action to reduce population wide dietary salt intake to decrease the number of deaths from hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke. However, some scientists still advocate the possibility of increased risk of CVD morbidity and mortality at extremes of low salt intake. Future research may inform the optimal sodium reduction strategies and intake targets for general populations. Until then, we have to continue to build consensus around the greatest benefits of salt reduction for CVD prevention, and dietary salt intake reduction strategies must remain at the top of the public health agenda. Recently, there has been a hot debate over whether current salt intake is too high from a health perspective. A technical report produced by WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recommended the consumption of less than 5 g of salt per day as a population nutrient intake goal. Given the adverse impact of excessive salt consumption on health and particularly on blood pressure levels and cardiovascular diseases, the World Health Organiztion has urged member nations to take action to reduce population wide dietary salt intake to decrease the number of deaths from hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke WHO report 1.
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In a study by O’Donnell et al. They are best used sprinkled onto meats and vegetables before cooking or immediately after. Scientists don’t all agree how much salt is too much. Barba G. They also found that it was the obese and not the non-obese who benefited. They concluded that weight reduction was the most effective strategy tested for reducing BP in normotensive persons. Effect of modest salt reduction on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized trials. Randomized trials of sodium reduction: an overview.