Cutting down on salt helps prevent health risks for diabetics

Wed, 08 Dec 2010
A review of study findings has shown that cutting down on the level of salt in the diet can help protect diabetics against serious threats to their health due a to a lowering in blood pressure .

The Cochrane review, published by The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates research into healthcare, examined 13 separate studies into people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, with participants having a large reduction in their daily salt intake to monitor how this would affect their blood pressure.

In the review, when salt intake was reduced by 8.5 grammes per day, blood pressure of the participants with either type 1 and type 2 diabetes was lowered by 7/3 mmHg. A diet high in salt in known to be a major factor in heightened blood pressure, and for diabetics this can mean a greater risk of health problems such as heart attack, stroke and diabetic kidney disease .

Rebecca Suckling, lead reviewer, commented "We were surprised to find so few studies of modest, practical salt reduction in diabetes where patients are at high cardiovascular risk and stand much to gain from interventions that reduce blood pressure."

She added "However, despite this, there was a consistent reduction in blood pressure when salt intake was reduced."
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