A salty meal reduces blood flow in main arteries in 30 mins
And, blood flow becomes temporarily more restricted for between 30 minutes and an hour after the salty food has been consumed, say researchers.
The researchers tested how quickly salt had a damaging effect on the body by recruiting 16 healthy adults and feeding them each a high-salt meal, containing 4g and later a low-salt meal, made with just 0.3g, the `Daily Mail` reported.
Before and after each meal, they tested how smoothly blood was flowing in the brachial artery — the main blood vessel in the upper arm which is normally used for checking blood pressure.
Although the artery does not measure blood flow directly to the heart, it is commonly used to give an indication of cardiovascular health.
The results, published in the `American Journal of Clinical Nutrition`, showed blood flow was significantly more impaired within 30 minutes of eating the salty meal than low- salt alternative and restriction reached a peak after an hour.
In a report on the findings, the authors from a group of research organisations in Adelaide, Australia, said: "This study showed the amount of salt similar to that in a commonly eaten meal impairs blood flow in healthy men and women. The mechanisms for this need to be investigated more intensively."
Prof Graham MacGregor, the Chairman of the lobby group Consensus Action on Salt and Health in the UK, said: "This research is of great interest. It clearly shows a rapid effect on the stiffness of the blood vessels. It looked at effects of eating just four grams of salt.