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Reducing Sodium May Help Improve Blood Pressure and Increase Short-Chain Fatty Acids

Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) are produced by beneficial bacteria in your microbiome and they’re essential for your gut, body, and brain health. A recent study suggests that reducing salt intake may help increase levels of circulating SCFA's in the blood and improve blood pressure levels in people with untreated hypertension.

Participants in the study included 145 adults with untreated hypertension. They consumed a low sodium tablet (2,300 mg) or a placebo daily for 6 weeks. After a washout period, the participants switched interventions. Blood samples were taken at baseline and at the end of each intervention period to measure circulating SCFA's, blood pressure, and arterial stiffness.

The researchers found that reducing sodium intake increased the levels of SCFA's circulating in the blood, which indicates a healthy microbiome. It also helped improve blood pressure levels and arterial stiffness. Improvements were greater in women than men.

The study was conducted by researchers from August University . It was published on June 1, 2020 in the journal Hypertension.

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