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Cutting salt can reduce your blood pressure as much as medication

This video is part of: Centre for Health and Healthcare

Scientists have found that reducing salt intake by just 1 teaspoon per day can lower blood pressure as much as specific drugs for that purpose. Researchers put 213 people aged 50-75 on either a high- or low-sodium diet.

After a week, the two groups swapped. The low-sodium diet led to a swift and pronounced drop in blood pressure roughly equal to a ‘first-line blood-pressure medication’, say the authors.

The findings held true across age, gender, race and BMI subgroups, even if the subjects already had high blood pressure or diabetes and even if they were already on blood-pressure medication.

High blood pressure: a silent killer

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a major global cause of premature death. Untreated, it can lead to health conditions such as kidney disease, heart failure and strokes. It's often called the "silent killer" because it's asymptomatic without testing, and half of adults are unaware they have it.

To reduce your risk of hypertension, health experts recommend increased physical activity, eating more fruit and vegetables, and quitting smoking. Dietary risk factors are estimated to cause 11 million deaths worldwide a year.

World Economic Forum initiative

In its New Frontiers of Nutrition initiative, the World Economic Forum is working with partners to improve food portfolios by reducing refined sugar and salt and to boost nutrition levels.

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