sodium-DASH diet combination dramatically lowers blood pressure in hypertensive
November 13, 2017
American Heart Association
A combination of
reduced sodium intake and the DASH diet lowers blood pressure in adults with
hypertension, according to preliminary research.
A combination of reduced sodium intake and the DASH diet lowers blood
pressure in adults with hypertension, according to preliminary research
presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier
global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for
researchers and clinicians.
The study followed 412 adults with systolic blood pressures in four
categories: less than 130 mmHg; between 130 and 139 mmHg; between 140 and 159
mmHg; and 150 or higher mmHg. They were either on low-sodium or DASH (Dietary
Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets for four weeks. DASH diets are rich in
fruits, vegetables, and whole grains along with low or fat-free dairy, fish,
poultry, beans, seeds and nuts. The DASH dietary pattern is promoted by the
U.S.-based National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the American Heart
Association to control hypertension. While both low-sodium and DASH diets have
been reported to help lower high blood pressure, this study examines the
effects of combining the two diets in adults with high blood pressure.
cut their sodium intake had lower systolic blood pressure than adults that had
high sodium consumption.
followed the DASH diet but did not reduce their sodium intake also had lower
blood pressure than those with similar sodium intake but not on the DASH diet.
the combined diet had lower blood pressure compared to participants with high
sodium intake eating their regular diet.
The reduction in blood pressure increased with the severity of
hypertension, with participants having systolic blood pressure over 150 mmHg
showing the most dramatic difference with the low sodium-DASH diet than those
not on the diet. More research is needed to determine if the combination diet
has the same effect for adults with systolic blood pressure above 160 mmHg.