Tuesday, August 14, 2018

How Much Salt is Too Much?

Article Written By: Juliana Zadarko


The risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke has been found to increase in individuals who consume more than 5g or 2.5 teaspoons of sodium a day. In a study of 94,000 individuals from 18 different countries aged 35-70 years old over the course of 8 years, the majority of communities consumed an average sodium intake of 3-5 grams or 1.5-2.5 teaspoons a day.

China was the only country from the study where a majority (80% of communities) consumed an excess of 5g of sodium a day. “Only in the communities with the most sodium intake — those over 5g/day — which is mainly in China, did we find a direct link between sodium intake and major cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke,” explains lead author Dr. Andrew Mente from the Population Health Research Institute of McMaster University.

These results contradict The World Health Organization which recommends individuals consumed less than 2g of sodium a day and The American Heart Association which recommends an intake of less than 1.5g of sodium a day. Dr. Mente argues, “These recommendations are primarily based on individual-level data from short-term trials of blood pressure without data relating low sodium intake to reduced cardiovascular events from randomised trials or observational studies.” The study led by Dr. Mente instead uses community-level sodium and potassium consumption, cardiovascular disease, and mortality in order to form a conclusion.

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