Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cutting Back on Salt: How Low Is Too Low?

Cutting back on salt is a key recommendation in the government's latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) and has been a part of good health advice for decades. But, increasingly, the evidence suggests that that guidance may be too simplistic, and that there is a limit to the benefits of salt reduction on the heart.

For people at risk of heart disease, a new study finds, lowering sodium can actually harm their health. Researchers led by Martin O'Donnell, an associate professor at McMaster University in Toronto and a professor of translational medicine at the National University of Ireland, looked at data on more than 28,000 people with heart disease or at high risk of developing heart disease or diabetes, and found that both those who consumed too much sodium and those who consumed too little had increased risks of heart disease and heart-related death over the study's four-and-a-half year follow-up.

The government currently advises adults to eat no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day, and recommends that children, older Americans and those at risk of heart disease cut their sodium to 1,500 mg a day. The World Health Organization advises eating less than 2,000 mg a day.

For the full article please go here.

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