Encapsulated sodium supplementation of 4weeks does not alter salt taste preferences in a controlled low sodium and low potassium diet

Dieuwerke P. Bolhuis, Lieke Gijsbers, Ilse de Jager, Johanna M. Geleijnse, Kees de Graaf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Preference for saltiness is learned by oral exposure to salt taste; however, some data suggest a role for bodily sodium and potassium levels on salt taste preferences as well. The objective was to investigate whether encapsulated sodium and potassium supplementation lead to altered salt taste responses among adults with high blood pressure on a low sodium and low potassium diet. Twenty-six participants with untreated upper-range prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension were on a fully controlled low sodium and low potassium diet (both targeted at 2 g/day) for 13 weeks. Participants received capsules with sodium (3 g/d), potassium (3 g/d), or placebo, for 4 weeks each, in randomized order in a double blind crossover design. Sensory evaluation was done before and after each supplementation period and involved ratings of pleasantness and intensity in different salt (NaCl) concentrations in food and water, desire-to-eat salty food, and detection threshold for NaCl. Neither sodium supplementation nor potassium supplementation led to alterations in salt taste responses in food and water, and did not affect detection threshold (P= 0.59). There was no clear role for sodium or potassium supplementation on desire-to-eat salty food. In addition, we did not find effects of reduced oral exposure to salt over weeks, through the sodium-reduced diet, on salt taste preferences, in contrast to earlier studies. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest preference for saltiness is independent of changes in bodily sodium or potassium levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-65
Number of pages8
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Potassium intake
  • Salt preference
  • Salt taste responses
  • Saltiness intensity
  • Sodium intake


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