Type to search



Using less salt in your food may seem boring, but the payoffs could be as big as a lowered risk of death, new research has found.

Using a salt substitute when cooking was linked with a lower risk of dying early from any cause or from cardiovascular disease in a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

“We are excited to be able to provide evidence that salt substitutions are effective for improving cardiovascular outcomes when used long-term, up to 10 years,” said the study’s senior author Dr. Loai Albarqouni, an assistant professor at the Institute for Evidence-Based Healthcare at Bond University in Australia. “Previous synthesis tended to focus on short-term outcomes, lasting only two weeks.”

The study is a systematic review of 16 randomized controlled trials that were published before August 23, 2023, and totaled 35,251 participants who were around age 64 on average and had a higher-than-average risk for cardiovascular disease. The trials were mainly in China, with the rest in the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Peru, the Netherlands and Norway.

With two-thirds of the findings coming from China, the authors “were surprised at how little salt substitution research has been conducted outside Asian countries,” Albarqouni said. “This is partially why we have graded the evidence as ‘low to very low certainty’ for Western populations — there simply isn’t enough evidence to verify that salt substitutes would be as effective in the Western context.”

Salt substitution was also linked with a reduction in sodium in urine, and in blood pressure, an effect similar to that of blood pressure medications, the authors found. That could explain the lowered risk of death, Albarqouni said.

The authors acknowledged that in the trials, some of the salt substitutes were not verified and some were purchased by the participants instead of given to them by researchers.

The trials compared the use of common salt —made of about 100% sodium chloride, occasionally with added iodine— with using a salt substitute comprised of 25% to 30% potassium chloride and 60% to 75% sodium chloride.

By Kristen Rogers // cnn.com

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux