Reducing Salt Lowers Blood Pressure and Helps Diabetes
A review shows that reducing salt can have a positive impact on diabetes:
"For patients living with diabetes, reducing the amount of salt in their daily diet is key to warding off serious threats to their health, a new review of studies finds.
In the Cochrane review, the authors evaluated 13 studies with 254 adults who had either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. For an average duration of one week, participants were restricted to large reduction in their daily salt intake to see how the change would affect their blood pressure.
"We were surprised to find so few studies of modest, practical salt reduction in diabetes where patients are at high cardiovascular risk and stand much to gain from interventions that reduce blood pressure," said lead reviewer Rebecca Suckling. "However, despite this, there was a consistent reduction in blood pressure when salt intake was reduced."
Suckling is part of the Blood Pressure Unit at St. George's Hospital Medical School, in London.
The review appears in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates research in all aspects of health care. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing trials on a topic.
Patients with diabetes need to be extra cautious to maintain their blood pressure at an acceptable range of less than 130/80 mmHg. However, in the 2003-2004 period, 75 percent of adults with diabetes had blood pressure greater than or equal to 130/80 mmHg or used prescription hypertension medications, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA)."