Sumary of Lesser sodium and higher potassium intake associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk:
- Lower sodium consumption and higher potassium intake is linked with lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in most people, according to a study led by Harvard T.
- Methodological limitations in prior observational studies have led to confusion about whether reducing current levels of sodium in the diet increases CVD risk.
- Our study combined high-quality individual participant data from six cohort studies where sodium was measured by the currently most reliable method, namely, multiple 24-hour urine samples.
- Our results should help clarify sodium’s role in CVD—that lower consumption is associated with lower risk of CVD in most populations, including in the U.S.” Yuan Ma, first author, research scientist, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard Chan School The study was published online November 13, 2021 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
- Sodium, one of the components of table salt, is naturally found in some foods, but high amounts of sodium are frequently added to commercially processed, packaged, and prepared foods.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently released new voluntary guidance encouraging the food industry to gradually reduce sodium—linked in previous research with increased blood pressure—in commercially produced foods over the next two and a half years.
- Potassium has an opposite effect in the body—it can help relax blood vessels and increase sodium excretion while decreasing blood pressure.
- The relationship between sodium consumption and the risk of CVD has been controversial, according to the study authors.