A Answers (3)
Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredNumerous studies have found that high consumption of sodium is associated with higher blood pressure in some, and perhaps all, people. The most famous was the Intersalt study, which evaluated sodium consumption in over ten thousand people in fifty-two study centers (thirty-two countries). Sodium intake correlated with an increase in blood pressure, and, correspondingly, high blood pressure correlated with an accelerated rate of arterial aging. For years, doctors have been prescribing low-salt diets to those whose blood pressure showed a particular sensitivity to sodium. Indeed, the first correlation between sodium intake and high blood pressure was made by Ambard and Beaujard. As a result, early in the century, low-sodium diets were frequently prescribed as a way to successfully lower blood pressure. However, the development of blood pressure medications encouraged many doctors to move away from prescribing low-sodium diets, except for the rare patient who was "sodium-sensitive."
There is a direct relationship between sodium and blood pressure in many people. In general, as a person’s intake of sodium increases, so does their blood pressure. Blood pressure that becomes too high, known as hypertension, increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
Unfortunately, many Americans will develop hypertension sometime during their life. Researchers estimate that if Americans reduced their sodium intake by a mere 400 milligrams daily, there would be 1.5 million fewer cases of high blood pressure annually, which could save more than $2 billion in health care costs. To help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, the upper level for adults for sodium is set at 2,300 milligrams. Many Americans exceed this upper limit daily.
Robin Miller, Integrative Medicine, answeredYour blood vessels don't act normally when you have too much salt.
Watch the video to learn more from Dr. Robin Miller about how a high sodium diet affects your blood pressure.