The effect of NaCl plus 3% chitosan on the systolic blood pressure of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) were evaluated and compared with NaCl plus KCl (NaCl, 49.36% + KCl 49.36%) and chitosan or NaCl treatment alone. In SHR, administration of NaCl plus chitosan (44 mM Na/day) for two months significantly decreased the systolic blood pressure greater than of NaCl plus KCl and NaCl alone. NaCl plus chitosan resulted, though not statistically significant, in decreased urinary Na(+) excretion and decreased blood urea nitrogen levels. Urinary creatinine of NaCl plus chitosan was slightly decreased compared to 3 treated groups. Serum electrolytes levels, however, remained unchanged. The combination of NaCl and chitosan may be superior to the conventional use of NaCl plus KCl or NaCl alone in the prevention of hypertension. Even though these supplementary diets have demonstrated potential anti-hypertensive effects in the experimental animal model, further research is needed before any recommendations can be made.