Lowering Salt Intake Reduces Headaches by a Third

635542297417336248saltcaution.jpg

15 Dec 2014 --- New research from the US entitled; ‘Effects of dietary sodium and the DASH diet on the occurrence of Headaches’, has shown that when people reduce their salt intake, there is a big and significant reduction (31%) in the number of them suffering from headaches.

The study was a carefully conducted dietary feeding study of over 400 people (the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which compared a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products with reduced saturated and total fat, and a control diet (typical of Western consumption patterns)). On both of these diets salt intake was reduced in a randomized crossover study from 8g to 6g to 4g/day.  

The study clearly demonstrated that going from a salt intake of 8g/day to 4g/day caused a significant reduction in headaches (31%) whereas a comparison between the healthy diet and the unhealthy American diet had no significant effect on headaches, demonstrating that this effect is due to the salt reduction. Importantly, the reduction in headaches was the same in people with raised or normal blood pressure.

The likely explanation for this reduction in headaches is the fall in blood pressure and reduction in pulse pressure that occurred with the salt reduction. Headaches are a very common medical problem, with just under half of all adults estimated to suffer from regular headaches. The direct costs of healthcare, time off work and medications for the management of headaches, are substantial.

Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) and World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) welcomes this new research. Reducing salt intake is an entirely novel way of trying to stop people developing and suffering from headaches.

Professor Graham MacGregor, Chairman of CASH and WASH, Queen Mary University of London said, “We have long suspected that reducing salt intakes reduces the number of people developing headaches, but this is the first well-controlled trial that really demonstrates a very large reduction in headaches just from modest reductions in salt intake. Importantly, the effect is independent of the level of blood pressure, as the reduction in headaches occurred in those with high and normal blood pressure. We would strongly advocate that those people who have headaches reduce their salt intake as it may abolish their headaches as well as having the very important effect of lowering their blood pressure and thereby the risk of a stroke and or heart attack.”

Katharine Jenner, Nutritionist and Campaign Director for CASH said, “Rather than just reaching for the medicine cabinet, we should be thinking about what is causing our ill health; it is often lifestyle and diet-related. If you can get less headaches and lower your blood pressure just by eating less salt, that’s two less pills you will need to take!”

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Food for Thought: UK Teenagers Losing Learning Time Due to Hunger

27 Jun 2017 --- Teenage pupils in high school can lose around 51 minutes’ worth of vital learning time a day because their concentration levels dip due to hunger. This is according to the results of a survey conducted in the UK by Kellogg’s. The survey results show that 82 percent of teachers in Britain have seen teens arriving at school hungry every day. And nearly four in 10 teachers believed one reason children in their class were hungry was due to their parents being unable to afford food for breakfast.

Business News

Key Interview: Algatech Targets Synergistic Effects to Advance Microalgae Industry

27 Jun 2017 --- Interest in microalgae has surged over the past decade, and as a result, a growing number of companies have sought to develop new products and technologies to harness the myriad health benefits these unicellular species provide. And according to Algatechnologies, we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of microalgae’s potential benefits and applications. 

Nutrition & Health News

Heightened Risk in Rice? Toxicity of Thioarsenates for Plants Uncovered

27 Jun 2017 --- Although it is a staple food in many regions of the world, rice sometimes contains levels of arsenic that are hazardous to our health. An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Bayreuth has now discovered that there are arsenic compounds which have a toxic effect on plants and yet had not previously been considered in connection with chemical analyses of rice and the estimated health risks for humans. The research concerns thioarsenates, compounds made up of arsenic and sulphur, which may be present in rice fields more often than previously assumed. 

Nutrition & Health News

Nanoparticles as Food Additives due for Risk Reassessment: Researchers

27 Jun 2017 --- The anticaking agent E551 silicon dioxide, or silica, has been used widely in the food industry over the past 50 years, and was long thought to be quite safe. Now, however, researchers working on the National Research Programme “Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials” have discovered that these nanoparticles can affect the immune system of the digestive tract.

Business News

Buhler Awarded Contract to Support Food Fortification Program in Pakistan

26 Jun 2017 --- To support the fortification of staple foods in Pakistan, the UK-based Food Fortification Program has awarded Bühler a multi-million contract to supply more than 1000 micro feeders in 2017 and 2018. The program is funded with US$48 million from the UK’s Department for International Development. By directly supporting local mills and food factories, the program is aiming to have a substantial impact on the well-being of close to 100 million people.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/Lowering-Salt-Intake-Reduces-Headaches-by-a-Third.html