Diabetics: Cut the salt or risk cardiovascular disease

Individuals with type 2 diabetes may need to be more viligant about salt intake, according to a recent study from the Endocrine Society.

The research suggests those with type 2 diabetes who consume lots of salt have twice the risk of developing cardiovascular disease than people who consume less sodium.

"The study's findings provide clear scientific evidence supporting low-sodium diets to reduce the rate of heart disease among people with diabetes," said study author, Chika Horikawa, RD, MSc, CDE, of the University of Niigata Prefecture in Niigata, Japan.

Horikawa went on to say that while diabetic guidelines usually include information about reducing salt intake, this is the first longitudinal study to show tangible benefits from implementing this type of dietary change.

Poor blood sugar control and high sodium intake go hand-in-hand

The study included 1,588 people from 59 outpatient centers and universities across Japan. Researchers used surveys and data on the patients' cardiovascular health to determine risk factors.

The participants were divided into four groups based on sodium intake. Those who ate an average of 5.9 grams of sodium daily had twice the risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those who ate an average of 2.8 grams of sodium per day.

Furthermore, a high-sodium diet seemed to exacerbate poor blood sugar control, the researchers reported.

"To reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, it is important for people who have Type 2 diabetes to improve their blood sugar control as well as watch their diet," Horikawa said. "Our findings demonstrate that restricting salt in the diet could help prevent dangerous complications from diabetes."

Source: Endocrine Society
Image credit: zole4/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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