Moderate Salt Intake Is Not As Bad For Heart, As Previously Thought

12 Août, 2018, 08:50 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Guidelines say eat no more than 0.75 teaspoons of salt a day. But a study by Mc Master University found that anything under two-and-a-half teaspoons- which is standard for most people- is safe

Most countries in the study had an average of three to five grams a day.

At the opposite pole to the U.S. and the United Kingdom, there is China with more than 80% of the adult population consuming above 5 g of salt each day.

Only individuals with a daily salt intake of at least 12.5 grams - about two-and-a-half teaspoons - were associated with increased blood pressure and a greater risk of stroke, they reported in The Lancet, a medical journal.

WHO recommends capping salt consumption at five grams per day, but this target is not known to have been achieved at a national level anywhere in the world, the survey of more than 90,000 people spread across 300 distinct communities in 18 countries found.

"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).

The new paper in the Lancet is from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study, an ambitious ongoing observational study. A morning fasting midstream urine sample was collected from every participant and was used to estimate 24h urinary sodium and potassium intake. Higher sodium intake was associated with lower rates of myocardial infarction and total mortality.

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The research went after 94,000 people, aged 35 to 70, for an average of eight years in communities from18 countries around the world and discovered that there is a linked risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes where the intake of sodium is higher than 5 grams a day.

It has been reinforced time and again how excessive intake of salt can constrict blood vessels and lead to elevated blood pressure levels and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, rates of stroke, cardiovascular death, and total mortality decreased with increasing potassium intake in these communities.

The study also suggests that too much salt in the diet is not a widespread global problem, though some populations which consume very high levels of salt would likely benefit from curbing salt. But people with moderate or average salt intake need not reduce their sodium intake, says a new study.

Professor Martin O'Donnell, McMaster University, co-author on the study, adds: "Our findings support other research recommending an all-round healthy diet with an emphasis fruit and vegetables, dairy foods, potatoes, nuts and beans".

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