Recommended low salt intake harmful for health: Study

Beware! Your average daily salt intake as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US may actually be low – leading to harmful health outcomes.

A study finds evidence that the average daily sodium intake of most Americans is actually associated with better health outcomes than intake levels currently recommended by the CDC and major health departments.

“The study confirms that 2,645-4,945 mg of sodium per day actually results in more favourable health outcomes than the CDC’s current recommendation of less than 2,300mg/day for healthy individuals under 50-years old, and less than 1,500 mg/day for most over 50 years,” explained lead author Niels Graudal.

This study was a combined analysis of 25 individual studies which measured results from over 274,683 individuals.

The results are an important extension of the findings of a major 2013 Institute of Medicine report that cast doubt on the current CDC recommendations but failed to establish any specific optimum range of intake.

“Our results are in line with the IOM’s concern that lower levels could produce harm and they provide a concrete basis for revising the recommended range in the best interest of public health,” Graudal, a researcher at University of Copenhagen Hospital in Denmark, commented.

According to him, the good news is that around 95 percent of the global population already consumes within the range we have found to generate the least instances of mortality and cardiovascular disease.

When consumption deviated from the 2,645 – 4,945 mg range, mortality increased, so that both excessively high and low consumption of sodium were associated with reduced survival, the study found.

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The study, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, also found that there is little-to-no variation in health outcomes between individuals as long as their consumption remained within the ideal intake range (2,645-4,945 mg/day).

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