KUOPIO, FINLAND — People in Finland who substituted Smart Salt for regular salt reduced their daily sodium intake as well as their systolic blood pressure over eight weeks, according to a study appearing on-line Sept. 2 in Nutrition Journal.

Smart Salt, Inc., La Jolla, Calif., offers Smart Salt, a mineral salt that is 50% sodium chloride, 25% potassium chloride and 25% magnesium ammonium potassium chloride, hydrate. It may be used as an ingredient in processed foods.

In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 45 people with high normal or mildly elevated blood levels consumed processed foods salted either with salt (sodium chloride) or Smart Salt. Twenty-two people replaced regular salt with Smart Salt. Twenty-three people in the control group stuck with regular salt.

Food diaries indicated people in the Smart Salt group reduced their daily intake of sodium by 3.5 grams compared to the regular salt group. The difference in urinary sodium excretion between the groups at the end of the intervention indicated a 3.3-gram difference in mean sodium intake.

People in the Smart Salt group also saw a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure while systolic blood pressure increased slightly in the control group.

“In conclusion, the use of Smart Salt in processed foods helped subjects to bring their sodium intake in line with the recommended levels of 2.3 grams/day (5.7 grams as sodium chloride),” the researchers said. “Additionally, this study indicates that replacing regular salt with a mineral salt low in sodium, high in potassium and high in magnesium may be a feasible way to potentiate anti-hypertensive effects in subjects with mild hypertension.”

The study involved researchers from the Food and Health Research Centre in Kuopio, the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio and the UCLA School of Medicine in Northridge, Calif.