The n.1 salt alternative with health benefits.

Healthy nutritious foods keep your family strong and happy. Reducing sodium helps to prevent high blood pressure – but did you know that magnesium and potassium have a lot of health benefits as well? Smart Salt contains these two essential minerals.

Excessive consumption of sodium in our diets is the most significant risk factor in high blood pressure.

Despite sodium being an essential mineral in our diets, the evidence overwhelmingly supports the fact that current high intakes are not necessary. For some, they may increase the risk of hypertension (blood pressure) and many other non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease. Salt as sodium chloride is also thought to exacerbate the symptoms of diabetes, Meniere’s disease, asthma and Alzheimer’s 1.

Unfortunately much of the world’s population is likely to be eating excessive amounts of sodium whilst being deficient in one or more essential minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium and are at increased risk of physiological disorders as a consequence 2.

Balancing minerals for heart health

There is a complex dynamic between minerals for heart health, notably with the balance of potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium3.  The WHO recommends a reduction in sodium intake and an increase in potassium intake from food to reduce blood pressure and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and coronary heart disease4,5.

Magnesium is also very important for heart health as we know that low magnesium status causes a low potassium state in the body even when potassium is adequate in the diet.  If magnesium is adequate in the diet, potassium can then help normalise blood pressure.  Clearly it is important in the case of these minerals that they are adequate in the diet to improve hypertension.  Magnesium is more effective in reducing hypertension when administered in combination with potassium and calcium than when given alone3.

Although there is no definitive evidence of a cause and effect between dietary magnesium intake alone and blood pressure or cardiovascular diseases epidemiological, observational and clinical trial data indicate that a diet high in magnesium is strongly associated with a lower risk of the following: cardiovascular mortality, all-cause mortality, stroke, cancer, obesity, kidney disease and hypertension. The totality of the evidence indicates the importance of dietary recommendations to increase Mg-rich foods including mineral salt6-9.

Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions and plays an important role in the body’s metabolism10. It is not surprising then that if you are magnesium deficient that this can chronically impact the body’s level of performance including cardiovascular health.

Smart Salt® has conducted it’s own human clinical study using industrially processed foods made using Smart Salt 50 (50% sodium reduction)11.

  • Smart Salt 50 in processed foods and table top helped subjects to bring their sodium intake in line with recommended levels of 2.3g/day (5.75g as NaCl).
  • Replacing table salt with Smart Salt 50, which is lower in sodium and higher in potassium and magnesium than table salt, may be a feasible way to potentiate antihypertensive effects in adults with mild hypertension

Potential Health Claims for Magnesium

The European Food Safety Authority has acknowledged the following beneficial effects of magnesium as a basis for health claims: electrolyte balance, normal energy-yielding metabolism, normal muscle function including heart muscle, normal nerve function, normal cell division, maintenance of normal bone, maintenance of teeth, normal protein synthesis, reduction of tiredness and fatigue12.

Many food manufacturing companies recognise the consumer-appeal of magnesium-containing foods and are using the health claims for magnesium on front of pack. Magnesium chloride, the magnesium salt used in Smart Salt®, is the only magnesium salt to have a specific nutritional health claim associated with it, i.e. aids normal digestion by production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach13.

  1. WASH. World Action on Salt & Health. Available on line 2015 at http://www.worldactionsalt.com.
  2. Broadley MR and White PJ. Eats Roots and Leaves. Can edible horticultural crops address dietary calcium, magensium and potassium deficiences? Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 2010, Vol 69
  3. Houston M.C. et al., Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium: Their Role in Both the Cause and Treatment of Hypertension. The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 2008, Vol. 19.
  4. WHO. Guideline: Sodium intake for adults and children. Geneva : World Health Organisation, 2012.
  5. WHO.Guideline: Potassium intake for adults and children. Geneva: World Health Organisation, 2012
  6. Rosanoff A and Clemens, R . Managing Magnesium in a Sodium-Dominant Era. International Food Technology, 2010, Vol. 64.
  7. RosanoffA. and Seelig, M. Review: Comparison of Mechanism and Functional Effects of Magnesium and Statin Pharmaceuticals. Journal of the Amercian College of Nutrition, 2004, Vol. 23.
  8. Champagne A.M. Dietary Invterventaion on Blood Pressure; the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) trials. Nutr Rev, 2006, Vol. 64.
  9. Puska P. Successful prevention of non-communicable diesases; 25 years experiences with North Karelia Project in Finland. Public Health Medicine, 2002, Vol. 4.
  10. Jahnen-Dechent W and Kettler M. Magnesium basics. Suppl 1, 2012, Clin Kidney J, Vol. 5, pp. i3-i14.
  11. Sarkkinen E.S. et al., Feasibility and antihypertensive effect of replacing regular salt with mineral salt-rich in magnesium and potassium – in subjects with mildly elevated blood pressure. Nutrition Journal, 2011, Vol. 10.
  12. The European Food Safety Authority. Scientific Opinion on Health Claims related to Magnesium.EFSA Journal, 2009.
  13. The European Food Safety Authority. Scientific Opinion on Health Claims related to Magnesium Chloride. EFSA Journal, 2010.