SPICE is a research project to help reduce your intake of sodium (salt), and to help you learn how to add flavor to your meals.

What is the purpose of this research project?

The purpose of this research project is to find out whether you can eat the amount of sodium (salt) that is recommended by the US Dietary Guidelines. We know from research that eating too much salt may lead to the development of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Information from this research could be used to let people know whether certain types of herbs and spices can help when they are trying to lower the amount of salt they eat on a regular basis

Who can be a part of this research project?

This research project applies to a lot of Americans. To take part in this project, you must be willing to reduce your sodium (salt) intake. Please call us to find out more.

What is expected of participants in this project?

You must be willing to: Join a 48-week project; reduce your sodium (salt) intake; eat only the foods that is provided to you for 4 weeks; make 12 visits to the research center for lunch or dinner; and taste foods and beverages then answer questions about how much you like them.

What are the benefits of participating in this project? 

You will receive: Free food for 4 weeks; counseling about diet; lab tests; cooking demonstrations; and $350, if you complete the study.

Contact Information

If you are interested in the SPICE Project please contact Letitia Thomas at: 410-281-2991 or Email: spice@jhmi.edu


  • If you are eligible and willing, you will be asked to join a 48 week study. This study has two parts.
  • The first part of the study will be called the “Getting Started Phase” and lasts 4 weeks. During this time, you will eat study foods only. You will also be asked to make about 12 visits to the ProHealth research center.  You will eat lunch or dinner at ProHealth 3 days each week (4 weeks x 3 visits per week = 12 visits).
  • If you have successfully completed the Getting Started Phase, you will be randomly assigned to one of two groups for the second part of the study. This will be called the “Staying on Track Phase”.
  • During the Staying on Track Phase, one group will be asked to continue to eat a lower sodium (salt) diet by following advice that is given in a handout. The other group will be asked to continue to eat a lower sodium (salt) diet and will get guidance from study counselors.
  • Throughout the 48 weeks of the study, from time-to-time, we will ask you to: collect urine over a 24 hour period; and eat/drink different foods and beverages then answer questions about your taste preferences.


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