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Low salt 'helps diabetes patients'

People with diabetes can rapidly reduce blood pressure and their risk of developing kidney disease if they restrict their intake of salt, new analysis has suggested.

Cutting salt intake by just 2g a day has the same effect on blood pressure as hypertension medication, according to the Cochrane Collaboration Renal Group, which looked at 13 studies.

The reduction in salt saw systolic blood pressure fall by an average 7mmHG and diastolic blood pressure by 3mmHG after one week.

Patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes experienced similar effects. The blood pressure of type 1 patients dropped by 7.1/3.1mmHG and type 2 patients saw a fall of 6.9/2.9mmHG.

The findings present a strong case to say that people with diabetes should keep to a diet low in salt, according to the researchers, who are based at St George’s Hospital Medical School and Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

The study authors said: “These findings, in conjunction with other evidence relating salt intake to BP and albuminuria in hypertensive and normotensive people, make a strong case to reduce salt intake in diabetes, as is recommended for the general population in public health guidelines, to less than 5-6g/day.”

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