ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., July 7, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- A just-released review article in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension concludes that an increase in potassium coupled with a decrease in sodium may be the most important dietary choice, after weight loss, to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.(1) The problem is, most Americans consume about half the recommended daily amount of potassium and double the recommended amount of sodium,(2) putting them at risk for high blood pressure and stroke.
Now, Unilever (UN) is introducing the first functional shot that may help close the potassium gap. Promise(R) SuperShots(R) for blood pressure are essential fruit blend functional shots that provide a good source of potassium and are low in sodium. Each three-ounce Promise(R) SuperShots(R) contains 350 mg of potassium, similar to the amount contained in a serving of a fruit that is a good source of potassium, such as a small banana. Promise(R) SuperShots(R) fruit blends come in three delicious flavors: strawberry banana, peach apricot, and mixed berry.
"High blood pressure is a major public health concern in the United States. But there is the potential to save many lives and significantly reduce health care costs associated with this disease if more Americans would increase their consumption of potassium and lower their intake of sodium each day," said Katherine Brooking, MS, Registered Dietitian.
According to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association's Nutrition Committee, daily intake of 4,700 mg of potassium is an effective dietary change to lower blood pressure. Diets high in potassium help to remove excess sodium from the body. More than 30 studies and several meta- analyses of these studies have shown that increasing dietary potassium levels to a target of 4,700 mg a day, as part of a diet low in sodium, can reduce blood pressure across a range of ages and ethnic backgrounds.(3,4,5)
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan provides 4,700 mg of potassium per day for a 2,100 calorie diet.(6) The DASH dietary pattern is now recommended by all U.S. health organizations as an effective dietary pattern for lowering blood pressure. DASH emphasizes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, nuts and legumes. It is preferable to get potassium from the diet, as foods that are good sources of potassium usually contain other important nutrients.
Promise(R) SuperShots(R) are consistent with the DASH eating plan since they are made with fruit, contain a good source of potassium per serving, are low in sodium, and are fat and cholesterol free.
"Promise(R) SuperShots(R) were designed to help adults who are concerned about managing their risk of high blood pressure by adding more potassium to their diet," said Douglas Balentine, Ph.D., Director of Nutrition and Health at Unilever North America. "Many Americans find it hard to not only get enough potassium but also from the recommended sources. This product line fits with the DASH eating plan and is an easy and convenient way to get closer to the recommended daily amount of potassium. This new product innovation is an example of Unilever's commitment to helping people stay healthy longer."
For the past 40 years, Promise's mission has been to deliver delicious foods to promote a healthy lifestyle. Within the product portfolio, Promise(R) has heart healthy products which help people maintain heart health or lower their cholesterol. Healthy lifestyle information, education and recipes can be found at www.promisehealthyheart.com.
"Promise(R) SuperShots(R) are a significant addition to our Promise(R) brand of products, and the second in our growing line of vitality shot products in the United States," said Eric Berman, Brand Director, Promise(R). "We believe that we can empower consumers to take charge of their health and wellness by providing functional foods that can be a part of their diet and lifestyle. We're excited with this latest innovation as it represents our continuing commitment to delivering delicious foods that can help promote a healthy lifestyle."
Promise(R) SuperShots(R) are available at major retailers nationwide, priced at approximately $3.99 for a pack of four shots.
High blood pressure is a major public health concern affecting 73 million Americans -- nearly 1 in 3 adults -- and only 35% are able to control it. It is associated with an increased risk of death and illness from stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and end-stage renal disease.(7)
Promise(R) spreads can help maintain a healthy heart when eaten instead of butter or margarine as part of a diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.* Besides a wonderfully delicious buttery taste, cardiologists prefer the nutritional profile of Promise Buttery Spread to that of Smart Balance Buttery Spread.** Promise(R) spreads have a balanced blend of essential fatty acids and vitamins with 80% less saturated fat than butter, no cholesterol, no trans fats and are non-hydrogenated. Other products in the Promise(R) portfolio include Promise(R) activ Spread and Promise(R) SuperShots(R) for cholesterol*** in the United States, and Flora(R) and Becel(R) in Europe.
* Promise Buttery Spread contains 8 g total fat and 1.5 g saturated fat per serving.
** Results based on nutritional information in a national survey among 326 cardiologists who recommend dietary changes for their patients.
*** Foods containing at least 0.4 g per serving of plant sterols, eaten twice a day with meals for a total daily intake of at least 0.8 g, as part of a low saturated fat, low trans fat and low cholesterol diet, may reduce the risk of heart disease. A serving of Promise activ(R) Spread provides 1.0 g plant sterols. A serving of Promise(R) SuperShots(R) provides 2.0 g plant sterols.
Unilever's mission is to add vitality to life. The company meets everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Each day, around the world, consumers make 160 million decisions to purchase Unilever products.
In the United States, the portfolio includes major brand icons such as: Axe, "all," Ben & Jerry's, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Hellmann's, Klondike, Knorr, Lipton, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Snuggle, Suave, Sunsilk and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever employs more than 14,000 people in both the United States and Puerto Rico -- generating nearly $11 billion in sales in 2007. For more information, visit www.unileverusa.com.
(1) Houston M, Harper K. Potassium, magnesium and calcium: their role in both the cause and treatment of hypertension. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2008;10 (7 suppl 2):3-11.
(2) Adrogue HJ, Madias NE. Sodium and Potassium in the Pathogenesis of Hypertension. N. Engl. J. Med. May 10, 2007;356:1966-78.
(3) Appel LJ, Brands MW, Daniels SR, et al. Dietary Approaches to Prevent and Treat Hypertension: A Scientific Statement. Hypertension. 2006;47;296-308
(4) Whelton PK, He J, Cutler JA et al. Effects of oral potassium on blood pressure; meta-analysis of randomized control clinical trials. JAMA 1997; 277:1624-1632.
(5) Geleijnse JM, Kok FJ, Grobbee DE. Blood pressure response to changes in sodium and potassium intake: a meta-regression analysis of randomized trials. J Hum Hypertens. 2003;17:471-480.
(6) Appel LJ, Moore TJ, Obarzanek E, et al. A Clinical trial of the Effects of Dietary patterns on Blood Pressure. N Engl J Med. 1997;336:1117- 24.
(7) American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics -- 2008 Update. Available at: www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3000090. Accessed on May 13, 2008.