"Following the DASH diet and reducing the intake of dietary sodium are two non-drug approaches that work to control blood pressure," said Dr. Denise Simons-Morton, Leader of the NHLBI Prevention Scientific Research Group and a DASH coauthor. "The blood pressure reductions achieved from this combination came in only 4 weeks and persisted through the duration of the study. Ideally, Americans should use both the DASH diet and reduced sodium approaches but, even if they do only one, they'll still reap significant health benefits.
"If the U.S. food supply were lower in sodium," added Simons-Morton, "it would help lower levels of blood pressure in the general population."
To interview an expert about this study, contact the NHLBI Communications Office at (301) 496-4236.
More information about the DASH diet and related heart-health topics can be found online at www.nhlbi.nih.gov.