Effect of dietary sodium intake on blood lipids: Results from the dash-sodium trial

David W. Harsha, Frank M. Sacks, Eva Obarzanek, Laura P. Svetkey, Pao Hwa Lin, George A. Bray, Mikel Aickin, Paul R. Conlin, Edgar R. Miller, Lawrence J. Appel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


We evaluated the effect on serum lipids of sodium intake in 2 diets. Participants were randomly assigned to a typical American control diet or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, each prepared with 3 levels of sodium (targeted at 50, 100, and 150 mmol/d per 2100 kcal). The DASH diet is increased in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and is reduced in saturated and total fat. Within assigned diet, participants ate each sodium level for 30 days. The order of sodium intake was random. Participants were 390 adults, age 22 years or older, with blood pressure of 120 to 159 mm Hg systolic and 80 to 95 mm Hg diastolic. Serum lipids were measured at baseline and at the end of each sodium period. Within each diet, sodium intake did not significantly affect serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, or triglycerides. On the control diet, the ratio of total cholesterol-to-HDL cholesterol increased by 2% from 4.53 on higher sodium to 4.63 on lower sodium intake (P =0.04). On the DASH diet, sodium intake did not affect this ratio. There was no dose-response of sodium intake on serum lipids or the cholesterol ratio in either diet. At each sodium level, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol were lower on the DASH diet versus the typical American diet. There were no significant interactions between the effects of sodium and the DASH diet on serum lipids. In conclusion, changes in dietary sodium intake over the range of 50 to 150 mmol/d did not affect blood lipid concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-398
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Diet
  • Hypertension
  • Lipids
  • Sodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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