Reduce Salt Consumption = Save Millions of Lives Around the World

Salt used as seasoning. However, when consumed in excess, salt can cause millions of deaths from heart disease and stroke.

According to three new studies that have been published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on April 4, reducing salt intake and increase potassium levels will prevent millions of deaths from heart disease and stroke worldwide each year.

One study examined the findings of 34 clinical trials involving more than 3,000 adults, and found that a modest reduction in salt intake led to a significant reduction in blood pressure, which causes a decrease in the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

Similar findings were reported in another study reviewing 56 previous studies. Found that reducing salt intake causes a decrease in blood pressure and reduced risk of fatal stroke and heart disease in adults.

There is also evidence that reducing salt intake can lower blood pressure in children.

The third study analyzed data from 33 clinical trials involving more than 128,000 people and found that increased potassium intake lowers blood pressure in adults and reduce the risk of stroke by 24 percent.

"Higher potassium intake can also be beneficial for the children, but further research is still needed," said the authors of the study, as reported by HealthDay, Monday (08/04/2013).

Potassium is found in most fruits, fresh vegetables, and legumes, such as beans and peas.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has set a global goal of reducing salt intake to 5 to 6 grams (about one teaspoon) per day by 2025. However, research studies and other experts recommend a further reduction to 3 grams per day.