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Excess Salt Good For You? Depends Who You Ask

05/05/11

  01:10:28 pm, by MedBen5   , 243 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Excess Salt Good For You? Depends Who You Ask

A brouhaha that has arisen from a new sodium study that demonstrates how such research should be taken with a grain of, er. salt.

WebMD reports that a Belgian study of sodium levels in healthy middle-aged people found that those with higher sodium levels had a significantly lower risk of dying from heart disease than did those with lower levels. Needless to say, these results go against the scientific grain and have raised more than a few eyebrows.

Ralph L. Sacco, MD, president of the American Heart Association argued that the study, which focused only on relatively young, healthy white Europeans for a short period of time (eight years), is inherently flawed. Moreover, myriad earlier studies come to a completely different conclusion – high salt intake increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. “The AHA recommendation to reduce salt intake is based on strong science, not just extrapolations or complex math,” Sacco said.

Those with a, shall we say, vested interest in the subject had a different take on the findings. “We now know conclusively that the U.S. government’s war on salt consumption will cause harm,” Lori Roman, president of the Salt Institute, said in a news release. “This study confirms previous research indicating that reductions in sodium lead to an increased risk of disease and death.”

The AHA advises people to limit their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams per day. On average, most Americans consume 3,600-4,800mg daily.

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