Cutting down on salt could cut headaches by a third, according to new research. People who reduced their salt intake to three grams a day suffered significantly fewer headaches, a study found. Three grams of salt is the equivalent of around half a teaspoon, or the amount found in a McDonalds Big Mac and large fries. Experts said cutting salt could reduce headaches because it lowers blood and pulse pressure.

But even people with normal blood pressure saw a reduction in headaches when they cut their salt intake. However, switching from a healthy diet to an unhealthy one had no effect on headaches, scientists said. As part of the study almost 400 people were randomly assigned either a low-fat diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products or a typical Western diet as a control. Participants ate food with almost nine of salt a day for a set period, reflecting average salt consumption in the USA.

Then this was reduced to six grams a day (the top level of the recommended daily salt allowance) for the same length of time, before they finally ate a low-salt diet of three grams a day during the final period.

They were asked to record side effects such as headache, bloating, dry mouth, excessive thirst, fatigue or low energy, light- headedness, nausea and change in taste in a questionnaire.
Scientists discovered halving salt intake from nine grams a day to three grams a day reduced headaches by 31 per cent.

Lawrence Appel, of John Hopkins University said: ‘A reduced sodium intake was associated with a significantly lower risk of headache, while dietary patterns had no effect on the risk of headaches in adults… see more

source: dailymail UK