New evidence points to the benefits of using a salt substitute, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Using a substitute for salt in your cooking and eating can meaningfully reduce your blood pressure and risk for cardiovascular disease, a couple of new studies demonstrate. Johns Hopkins cardiologist Seth Martin says these studies have a clear take home message.

Martin: There was a big clinical trial out of China and then this study takes data from all around the world, over 30,000 people that were looked at in this meta-analysis. What they find consistently across different geographies is that, as you substitute the sodium chloride with a potassium, you substitute at least five percent of it with the salt substitute, then it’s meeting their criteria. Through that mechanism of reducing blood pressure can then reduce cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks.  :30

Martin notes that while five percent was the minimum amount of substitution, many people reduced their sodium chloride by up to five times that amount, so the optimal percentage of substitution remains to be determined. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.