How does a high salt, low potassium diet impact memory?

Hearty Team
Feb 9, 2023

Did you know that consuming a diet high in salt and low in potassium may impair memory? New research suggests that salt and potassium intakes may impact memory. 

Study Summary 

This new research, including 4,213 people aged 50+, found that: 

  • High sodium intake and high sodium to potassium ratio intake are both associated with memory impairment, for older adults.
  • Higher potassium intake is associated with a higher cognitive score, with the average cognitive test score increasing by ~1 point when 1000 mg/day of sodium was replaced with an equal intake of potassium. 
  • Sleep and cardiovascular health status may play a role in the relationship between sodium, potassium, and cognitive function.

The Hearty Take

These results highlight the importance of considering the balance of sodium and potassium in one's diet as a potential factor in cognitive health, especially for older adults. The results emphasize the need for more research in this area, particularly to better understand the interplay between sodium, potassium, sleep, and cardiovascular health. Take precaution by talking to your dietitian about your sodium and potassium levels! 

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