Potassium improved blood pressure in teen girls, salt had no adverse effect

April 27, 2015, The JAMA Network Journals

Eating 3,000 mg per day of salt or more appears to have no adverse effect on blood pressure in adolescent girls, while those girls who consumed 2,400 mg per day or more of potassium had lower blood pressure at the end of adolescence, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

The has historically believed most people in the United States consume too much salt in their diets. The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day for healthy individuals between the ages of 2 and 50. The relationship between dietary sodium and in children and adolescents is largely unexamined in prospective studies, according to the study background.

Lynn L. Moore, D.Sc., M.P.H., of the Boston University School of Medicine, and coauthors examined the long-term effects of and potassium on blood pressure at the end of adolescence. The authors used data from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Growth and Health Study and participants included 2,185 black and white girls (ages 9 to 10) who were followed up for 10 years.

The authors found no evidence that higher sodium intakes (3,000 to <4,000 mg per day and ?4,000 mg per day vs. < 2,500 mg per day) had an adverse effect on adolescent blood pressure. Some analysis showed that those girls consuming 3,500 mg per day or more of salt had generally lower diastolic blood pressures than girls who consumed less than 2,500 mg per day. Food consumption was based on self reports and blood pressure was measured annually.

Overall, girls in the highest category of potassium intake (2,400 mg per day or more) had lower late-adolescent systolic and diastolic blood pressure than those girls who consumed less potassium, the results show.

Girls who consumed the most sodium and potassium consumed the most calories too, along with the most dairy, fruits, vegetables and fiber, according to the results.

"This prospective study showed that black and white who consumed more dietary potassium had lower BPs [blood pressures] in later adolescence. In contrast, the data indicated no overall effect of sodium intake alone on BP, and, thus do not support the call for a global reduction in sodium intake among children and adolescents. This study emphasizes the need to develop methods for estimating salt sensitivity to be used in future studies of high-risk populations and points to the potential health risks associated with the existing low dietary potassium intakes among U.S. children and ," the study concludes.

Explore further: Study finds that too much sodium is a worldwide killer

More information: JAMA Pediatr. Published online April 27, 2015. DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.0411

Related Stories

Study finds that too much sodium is a worldwide killer

April 10, 2015
Americans are not alone in their taste for salty foods. Whether the salt comes from French fries or miso soup, people all over the world are getting more than the current recommendations. And according to an analysis of global ...

Are current dietary guidelines for sodium and potassium reasonable?

April 7, 2015
To reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, the World Health Organization recommends we consume no more than 2000 mg of sodium a day—less than a teaspoon of salt.

Studies support population-based efforts to lower excessive dietary sodium intakes

May 14, 2013
Recent studies that examine links between sodium consumption and health outcomes support recommendations to lower sodium intake from the very high levels some Americans consume now, but evidence from these studies does not ...

Reducing salt and increasing potassium will have major global health benefits

April 4, 2013
Cutting down on salt and, at the same time, increasing levels of potassium in our diet will have major health and cost benefits across the world, according to studies published in BMJ today.

Research shows that salt affects more than just blood pressure

March 10, 2015
Sodium is essential for fluid balance and cellular homeostasis, or maintenance of a stable internal environment in an organism. But the amount of salt needed to maintain homeostasis in adults is quite low—about 500 milligrams ...

Potassium-rich foods cut stroke, death risks among older women

September 4, 2014
Postmenopausal women who eat foods higher in potassium are less likely to have strokes and die than women who eat less potassium-rich foods, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke.

Recommended for you

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

NeuroNext biomarker study explores natural history of infantile-onset SMA

January 9, 2018
Research led by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to define the natural history of infantile-onset spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has been "critical" to accelerate the development of effective therapies and hasten ...

No link between childhood lead levels, later criminality

December 27, 2017
(HealthDay)— Exposure to higher levels of lead during early childhood can affect neurological development—but does that mean affected kids are doomed to delinquency?

Early puberty in girls may take mental health toll

December 26, 2017
(HealthDay)—A girl who gets her first menstrual period early in life—possibly as young as 7—has a greater risk for developing depression and antisocial behaviors that last at least into her 20s, a new study suggests.

Technology not taking over children's lives despite screen-time increase

December 21, 2017
With children spending increasing amounts of time on screen-based devices, there is a common perception that technology is taking over their lives, to the detriment and exclusion of other activities. However, new Oxford University ...

Higher blood sugar in early pregnancy raises baby's heart-defect risk

December 15, 2017
Higher blood sugar early in pregnancy raises the baby's risk of a congenital heart defect, even among mothers who do not have diabetes, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.