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Low-sodium DASH diet lowers SBP in pre-, stage 1 hypertension

11 Dec 2017
Many fad diets have appeared throughout history – but, are any of them effective?

Combining the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet with low sodium intake reduces systolic blood pressure (SBP) in individuals with pre- and stage 1 hypertension, with progressively higher reductions at greater levels of baseline SBP, a recent study has shown.

“SBP reductions in adults with the highest levels of SBP (≥150 mm Hg) were striking and reinforce the importance of both sodium reduction and the DASH diet in this high-risk group,” researchers said.

In this study, comparisons were made on the effects of low vs high sodium, DASH vs control and both (low-sodium DASH vs high-sodium control diets) on SBP by baseline BP.

Adults with pre- or stage 1 hypertension and not using antihypertensive medications were randomly assigned to either DASH or a control diet. Participants on either diet were fed each of three sodium levels (50, 100 and 150 mmol/day at 2,100 kcal) in random order over 4 weeks separated by 5-day breaks. Baseline SBP were categorized as follows: <130, 130 to 139, 140 to 149 and ≥150 mm Hg.

A total of 412 participants (mean age 48 years; mean BP, 135/86 mm Hg; 57 percent women; 57 percent black) were included.

In participants assigned to control diet, sodium reduction correlated with mean SBP differences of ‒3.20, ‒8.56, ‒8.99 and ‒7.04 mm Hg across the respective baseline SBP strata mentioned (p=0.004 for trend). In the context of high sodium, DASH vs control diet correlated with mean SBP differences of ‒4.5, ‒4.3, ‒4.7 and ‒10.6 mm Hg, respectively (p=0.66 for trend).

The combination of sodium reduction and DASH diet, compared with high-sodium control diet, was associated with mean SBP differences of ‒5.3, ‒7.5, ‒9.7 and ‒20.8 mm Hg, respectively (p<0.001 for trend).

“Further research is needed to determine the effects of these interventions among adults with SBP ≥160 mm Hg,” researchers said.

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Most Read Articles
Tristan Manalac, 6 days ago
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Pearl Toh, 10 Jul 2018
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