Cutting down salt intake isn't always healthy: Lancet
Cutting down salt intake isn't always healthy: Lancet
Moderate salt intake ‘not a risk to health’
12 August, 2018, 08:52
As reported, on the other hand, the majority of the countries researched in the recent study presented an average sodium intake of between three to five grams.
The NHS and World Health Organization say adults should not have more than a teaspoon of salt a day, because of the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
The study was focused on 94,000 individuals between the ages of 35 and 70 who were from 18 different countries. In China, 80 percent of the communities were found to have a sodium intake of more than 5 grams per day.
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"No country has managed to reduce levels of sodium consumption from moderate to very low (below 2g/day), and our study shows we should be far more concerned about targeting communities and countries with high average sodium intake (above 5g/day, such as China) and bringing them down to the moderate range (3 to 5g/day)", says Professor Andrew Mente, Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University (Canada).
"In communities that consumed less than five grammes of sodium a day, the opposite was the case". "Our findings demonstrate that community-level interventions to reduce sodium intake should target communities with high sodium consumption, and should be embedded within approaches to improve overall dietary quality", said Professor O'Donnell.
Study's co-author Martin O'Donnell, Associate Professor at McMaster said that the impact of sodium intake is heavily contingent on individual-level information, or so can be inferred from most previous studies. Higher sodium intake was associated with lower rates of myocardial infarction and total mortality. Our bodies need essential nutrients like sodium, but the question is how much. Diets rich in fruit and vegetables are high in potassium. An increased cardiovascular risk was only observed in communities where the average intake was greater than 5 g/day. However, it is not known whether potassium itself is protective, or whether it might simply be a marker of a healthy diet.
"We found all major cardiovascular problems decreased in communities where there is an increased consumption of potassium which is found in fruit, vegetables, dairy foods and nuts", he added. Compared with moderate sodium intake, the study found that high sodium intake (above 7g/day) was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events and mortality in hypertensive populations, and low sodium (below 3g/day) intake was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events and mortality in people with or without hypertension.
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