The Na/K ratio is considered to be a useful index, the monitoring of which allows an effective Na reduction and K increase, because practical methods (self-monitoring devices and reliable individual estimates from spot urine) are available for assessing these levels in individuals. An intervention trial for lowering the Na/K ratio has demonstrated that a reduction of the Na/K ratio mainly involved Na reduction, with only a small change in K. The present study aimed to clarify the relationship between dietary Na intake and the urinary Na/K molar ratio, using standardized low- and high-salt diets, with an equal dietary K intake, to determine the corresponding Na/K ratio. Fourteen healthy young adult volunteers ingested low-salt (3 g salt per day) and high-salt (20 g salt per day) meals for seven days each. Using a portable urinary Na/K meter, participants measured their spot urine at each voiding, and 24-h urine was collected on the last day of each diet period. On the last day of the unrestricted, low-salt, and high-salt diet periods, the group averages of the 24-h urine Na/K ratio were 4.2, 1.0, and 6.9, while the group averages of the daily mean spot urine Na/K ratio were 4.2, 1.1, and 6.6, respectively. The urinary Na/K ratio tracked changes in dietary salt intake, and reached a plateau approximately three days after each change in diet. Frequent monitoring of the spot urine Na/K ratio may help individuals adhere to an appropriate dietary Na intake.
Yatabe, M. S., Iwahori, T., Watanabe, A., Takano, K., Sanada, H., Watanabe, T., … Yatabe, J. (2017). Urinary sodium-to-potassium ratio tracks the changes in salt intake during an experimental feeding study using standardized low-salt and high-salt meals among healthy japanese volunteers. Nutrients, 9(9). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9090951