Sodium Reduction Not Linked To Higher Fasting Glucose Concentrations

Sheena M. Patel, MPH, ORISE, Fellow Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention CDC MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sheena M. Patel, MPH, ORISE, Fellow
Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
CDC

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Patel: Although significant evidence reveals reduced sodium intake lowers blood pressure, some studies report that sodium reduction could have a negative impact on insulin resistance and glucose tolerance. As a result, we conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of intervention studies to examine the effect of sodium reduction on glucose tolerance and provide direction for future research.

Overall, our research found sodium reduction did not lead to higher average fasting glucose concentrations, a measure of insulin resistance. This suggests that the current recommendations to reduce sodium intake are unlikely to cause harm related to hyperglycemia or insulin resistance. It’s important to note that, in some cases, sodium reduction was associated with higher average insulin concentrations. However, this finding varied significantly across studies, suggesting caution in interpreting this result.

To determine these findings, we reviewed previously published randomized and non-randomized prospective intervention trials. In randomized trials, people have an equal chance of being in each group examined. The data was pulled from five databases with research spanning from January 1950 to August 2014 and included 38 trials.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Patel: This study is meaningful because it suggests short-term large reductions in sodium intake might not affect fasting glucose concentrations, a measure of insulin resistance. These findings can help clinicians, patients and public health representatives focus efforts as needed.

Due to the overwhelming evidence in favor of reducing sodium intake, CDC continues to support sodium reduction as an achievable and effective public health strategy to lower blood pressure and improve heart health nationwide.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Patel: This meta-analysis revealed no evidence that, in trials with a short intervention and large reductions in sodium, circulating glucose concentrations differed between groups. Further research could more rigorously examine the impact of sodium reduction on glucose tolerance, including ensuring that participants are randomly assigned to interventions, test longer intervention durations, incorporate sodium intake levels relevant to population reduction initiatives, and examine the longer-term measures of glucose tolerance, e.g., glycated hemoglobin.

Citation:

Dietary Sodium Reduction Does Not Affect Circulating Glucose Concentrations in Fasting Children or Adults: Findings from a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Sheena M Patel, Paul Cobb, Sharon Saydah, Xuanping Zhang, Janet M de Jesus, and Mary E Cogswell

Nutr. 2015 jn.114.195982; first published online January 21, 2015. doi:10.3945/jn.114.195982

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Sheena M. Patel, MPH, ORISE, Fellow (2015). Sodium Reduction Not Linked To Higher Fasting Glucose Concentrations MedicalResearch.com