Study: Little salt intake may pose risk as too much
WASHINGTON — Although high salt intake increases the risk of heart disease in the general public, a new study says the health effects are less clear when salt consumption actually is reduced to below daily amounts recommended by the government.
Recent studies on the issue had “methodological flaws and limitations” and provided “insufficient and inconsistent” evidence, according to a review of the data by an expert committee of the Institute of Medicine, the independent, nonprofit health arm of the National Academy of Sciences.
“These new studies support previous findings that reducing sodium from very high-intake levels to moderate levels improves health. But they also suggest that lowering sodium intake too much may actually increase a person's risk of some health problems,” said Brian Strom, professor of public health at the University of Pennsylvania and chairman of the Institute of Medicine committee that reviewed the studies.
Most Americans average 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, or about 1.5 teaspoons of salt. About 75 percent of the amount comes from restaurant food and processed food.
Federal dietary guidelines call for less than 2,300 milligrams daily for most people ages 14 to 50 and no more than 1,500 milligrams a day for blacks; people with hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease; and adults 51 and older.
The recommendations are based on research that links higher sodium intake to high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
Although the studies haven't convinced the Institute of Medicine committee to recommend altering the current dietary guidelines for sodium, the research shows that low sodium intake could cause health problems for people with mid- to late-stage heart failure who are receiving aggressive treatment for their disease.
Other literature shows possible adverse health effects of low sodium intake for people with diabetes, chronic kidney disease and pre-existing cardiovascular diseases, “the evidence on both benefit and harm is not strong enough to indicate that these subgroups should be treated differently from the general U.S. population,” the report concluded.
Still other medical spokesmen point out the critical need for salt especially of young children and older citizens, different even in different seasons.
Additional research on lower levels of salt consumption are needed to draw stronger conclusions, the report said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Daughter says of Utah doctor: He’s a ‘monster’
- License plate scanner networks gotcha
- White House evacuated for fence jumper
- Even record-setting retardant drops barely slow Calif. blaze
- Chief justice worried about partisanship
- U.S., Canadian jets intercept 8 Russian aircraft
- White House targets sexual assaults on college campuses
- Dog gone for 4 months found 3,000 miles from home
- Dog found in Oregon will fly to Pa.
- Benghazi death prompts $2M suit
- Italian village to honor World War II U.S. bomber pilots