European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 1269–1280 | Cite as

Food sources of dietary sodium in the Japanese adult population: the international study of macro-/micronutrients and blood pressure (INTERMAP)

  • Nagako OkudaEmail author
  • Akira Okayama
  • Katsuyuki Miura
  • Katsushi Yoshita
  • Shigeyuki Saito
  • Hideaki Nakagawa
  • Kiyomi Sakata
  • Naoko Miyagawa
  • Queenie Chan
  • Paul Elliott
  • Hirotsugu Ueshima
  • Jeremiah Stamler
Original Contribution



It is often reported that Na intake levels are higher in Japan than in western countries. Detailed analysis of food intake and its association with Na intake are necessary for supporting further decreases in Na consumption in Japan. We investigated the association between Na and food intake by food group using data from the Japanese participants of the INTERMAP Study.


Results from the Japanese participants of the INTERMAP Study who did not use antihypertensive medication and/or consume a reduced Na diet were used (531 men and 518 women, aged 40–59 years), obtained from four 24-h dietary recalls and two 24-h urine collections from each participant. We developed a classification system with 46 food group classifications; food consumption and Na intake from these groups were compared across quartiles of participants determined by 24-h urinary Na excretion per unit of body weight (UNa/BW).


Average daily Na intake from Japanese high-Na foods was 2552 mg/day. Participants with a higher UNa/BW consumed a significantly greater amount of high-Na Japanese foods, such as salted fish (P = 0.001) and miso soup (P < 0.001). They also had greater amount of rice (P = 0.001). Participants with lower UNa/BW consumed a significantly greater amount of western foods, such as bread (P < 0.001) and milk and dairy products (P < 0.001).


Detailed analyses of various Japanese and western food intakes in addition to Na intake were performed. These results can be used to help draw up effective programs for the reduction in Na intake and prevention of prehypertension/hypertension in the Japanese population.


Sodium intake Food intake 24-h urine Japanese diet Population study 



This research was supported by Grant 2-RO1-HL50490 from the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, and by National and Local Agencies in China, Japan (the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture, Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research [A], No. 090357003, JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 26460759), and the UK. This study was also supported in part by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. P.E. is a Senior Investigator of the UK National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and was supported by the NIHR, the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College Biomedical Research Centre. PE is also supported by the UK MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health and the UK NIHR Health Protection Research Unit on Health Impacts of Environmental Hazards. The sponsors had no role in the design or conduct of the study, the collection, management, analysis, or interpretation of the data, or the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest


Supplementary material

394_2016_1177_MOESM1_ESM.docx (27 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 27 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nagako Okuda
    • 1
    Email author
  • Akira Okayama
    • 2
  • Katsuyuki Miura
    • 3
    • 4
  • Katsushi Yoshita
    • 5
  • Shigeyuki Saito
    • 6
  • Hideaki Nakagawa
    • 7
  • Kiyomi Sakata
    • 8
  • Naoko Miyagawa
    • 3
  • Queenie Chan
    • 9
  • Paul Elliott
    • 9
  • Hirotsugu Ueshima
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jeremiah Stamler
    • 10
  1. 1.Department of Health and NutritionUniversity of Human Arts and SciencesIwatsuki-kuJapan
  2. 2.Research Institute of Strategy for PreventionTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Public HealthShiga University of Medical ScienceOtsuJapan
  4. 4.Center for Epidemiologic Research in AsiaShiga University of Medical ScienceOtsuJapan
  5. 5.Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Graduate School of Human Life ScienceOsaka City UniversityOsakaJapan
  6. 6.School of Health SciencesSapporo Medical UniversitySapporoJapan
  7. 7.Department of Public HealthKanazawa Medical UniversityKanazawaJapan
  8. 8.Department of Hygiene and Public HealthIwate Medical UniversityYahabaJapan
  9. 9.MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public HealthImperial College LondonLondonUK
  10. 10.Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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