The development of a dietary intervention to modify cation content of foods and the evaluation of its effects on blood pressure in hypertensive black South Africans

Doctoral Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

Black South Africans are at high risk of hypertension, stroke and blood pressure-related target-organ damage. In South Africa, the limited resources at primary health care level allocated to the prevention, early diagnosis and management of hypertension necessitate a non-pharmacological population-based approach to curb the escalating burden of cardiovascular disease, for which raised blood pressure is an important major contributory risk factor. The series of five studies included in the thesis provide a systematic approach to developing an appropriate nutritional population-based approach to lowering blood pressure in a high risk population. Firstly, valid, reliable, and updated information was obtained to identify habitual intake of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium in the target population, using the gold standard method of assessing sodium intake, namely 24-hour urinary excretion collections (Chapter 3). This information was necessary to inform the levels of sodium and other cation modification required in order to obtain a physioligically relevant change in blood pressure. As well as quantitative data on levels of sodium intake, the food sources that are the most important contributors to overall non-discretionary salt intake, and the pattern of intake of these foods, is described (Chapter 4). This data allowed identification of commonly consumed foods that could be targeted for modification on their cation content.

Includes bibliographical references.