Just how much might using a salt substitute reduce your blood pressure? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Using potassium chloride rather than sodium chloride, or table salt, just 5 to 25 % of the time in cooking and eating, achieved blood pressure reduction and fewer cardiovascular events, two recent studies find. Seth Martin, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, says the blood pressure reductions were not dramatic.

Martin: Although it’s on the smaller side the reductions in blood pressure, over the long term those reductions in blood pressure are very clinically meaningful. Let’s say you have a blood pressure top number of 160. If you get it from 160 to 155 you’re still way above the goal of less than 130. So although that can be important at a population level to reduce cardiovascular risk clearly this is one part of the solution to control hypertension to improve outcomes. So it can be worth pursuing but it’s not the only thing.  :30

Martin says other strategies might include exercising more and perhaps weight reduction. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.