Increasing potassium and decreasing sodium intake may result in improved heart health.
There is an ongoing discussion concerning the importance of dietary salt restriction in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, a study published online Nov. 13, 2021, in The New England Journal of Medicine clearly supports that reducing sodium intake and increasing potassium intake results in improved heart and blood artery health.
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers reviewed data from six studies that combined to include almost 10,000 healthy adults. Periodic urine samples were utilized to determine the relative quantities of salt and potassium in the individuals' meals (higher urine levels correlate with greater intake of sodium and potassium). Over an 8.8-year median follow-up period, the researchers looked at those who had a heart attack or stroke or underwent a procedure to open a clogged artery. 571 of the individuals encountered one of these cardiovascular events throughout that time period.
After adjusting for other risk variables, the researchers discovered an 18% increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease for every additional 1,000 milligrams (mg) of sodium identified in the urine. There was an 18% reduction in risk for every additional 1,000 mg of potassium in the urine.
We are monitoring research.