May 6th, 2011

Podcast 120: Pass the salt!

European researchers say they’ve got the data to show that restricting salt in the general population is a bad mistake. By implication, the U.S. dietary salt guidelines are plainly wrong.

How did they do this? They followed 3700 subjects for roughly 8 years, having first measured their 24-hour urinary sodium excretion. Their data show that lower salt intake leads to higher cardiovascular mortality and that increasing levels of salt intake are not associated with an increased incidence of hypertension.

The researchers are defiant in the face of criticism, challenging the skeptics to come up with their own data.

The results seem poised to change our assumptions — if not our dietary habits.
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2 Responses to “Podcast 120: Pass the salt!”

  1. S Stipe says:

    Why is there never any mention about the actual amounts of sodium? What are you defining as high or low intake? Is there a difference between 2000 mg per day and 4000-5000 mg per day? I can hardly believe we aren’t eating way more sodium in this country over the past 50 yrs with the increase in availability and consumption of fast food, restaurant food, and processed foods.

  2. Dr.P.T.deSilva says:

    I agree with the “no restriction” group.

    My patients with hypertension are advised normal meals (what other members of the family eat), not to add salt at the table, but avoid salty foods, bacon, dry fish etc.

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