-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing dietary salt
intake and boosting levels of potassium would prevent millions of
deaths from heart disease and stroke worldwide each year, according
to three new studies.
The new studies, which reviewed prior research, were published
online April 4 in the
One study examined the findings of 34 clinical trials involving
more than 3,000 adults and found that a modest reduction in salt
intake led to significant decreases in blood pressure, leading to a
reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure.
Similar findings were reported in another study that reviewed 56
previous studies. It found that reducing salt consumption led to
lower blood pressure and a decreased risk of stroke and fatal heart
disease in adults.
There was also evidence that reduced salt intake lowered blood
pressure in children.
A third study analyzed data from 33 clinical trials that
involved more than 128,000 people and found that increased
potassium intake reduced blood pressure in adults and reduced their
risk of stroke by 24 percent.
Higher potassium intake may also benefit children, but more
research is needed, the study authors said.
Potassium is found in most fresh fruits and vegetables and in
legumes, such as beans and peas.
The World Health Organization has set a global goal to reduce
dietary salt intake to 5 to 6 grams (about one teaspoon) per day by
2025. However, the study researchers and some other experts
recommend a further reduction to 3 grams per day.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute explains how
to reduce your
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