Does Salt Make Your Arteries Less Flexible?

After age 30, your arteries get stiffer and less able to widen when they need to, and that may boost your risk of heart attack, stroke, and memory loss. Cutting back on salt may help, even if you have normal blood pressure.

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Australian researchers had 25 overweight or obese people with normal blood pressure eat a diet with typical sodium levels (3,600 milligrams a day) for six weeks and a lower-sodium diet (2,600 mg a day) for another six weeks. The participants’ arteries were better able to dilate (widen) when they were on the lower-sodium diet.

What to do: Cut back on high-sodium foods whenever possible.

Source: Atherosclerosis 233: 32e38, 2014.

3 Replies to “Does Salt Make Your Arteries Less Flexible?”

  1. Even the lower sodium levels in this study were over the 2300 mg that the FDA advises. Now limiting sodium to 1500 mg is advocated for older folks.

  2. But this study compared 2 intakes of salt above the UL (=2300mg of sodium/day) and was only done on overweight and obese individuals. Do we know if there would be an improvement on this regard if we compared a group of consuming 2600mg vs the AI of 1500mg of sodium? Would this improvement in artery dilation be seen in normal weight individuals as well?

  3. Overweight and obese people. What about those who are normal weight or slightly under, lean, joggers, and physically active, over 60? That’s my husband, and he’s very much in love with the salt shaker!

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