New salt study stirs up controversy
Friday 06 May 2011
A new study published May 4 suggests that low-salt diets don't prevent high blood pressure but actually increase the risk of heart attacks or strokes. But experts say to take the findings with a grain of salt.
Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Belgian study enlisted 3,681 European men and women for an eight-year evaluation of salt's effect on their cardiovascular health. Subjects with the lowest sodium excretion (which is a good measure of sodium intake) were 56 percent more likely to have died from cardiovascular disease than those with the highest sodium excretion. Also, researchers found that sodium intake had no effect on whether or not the subjects developed high blood pressure.
Researchers say the observational study is more suggestive than conclusive, and don't recommend dietary changes. Meanwhile officials from America's CDC criticize the study as being too small and for using subjects who were too young (subjects were mostly in their 40s). There is a wealth of studies contradicting the findings, including a 2010 German study that found that people who consumed more than six grams of dietary sodium per day increased their risks of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
"These are startling findings," P.J. Skerrett of Harvard University writes of the new study on the Harvard Health Blog. "If true, they would undercut major programs by the U.S. government to reduce Americans' intake of salt - the main source of sodium - from prepared and processed foods and at home."
Before picking up the salt shaker, Skerrett recommends that to keep your blood pressure in check, be sure to exercise, lose weight, and maintain a healthy diet. Losing just five percent of body weight can cut your risks of developing high blood pressure, he writes, and eating more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods can keep your heart healthy. In addition, trim back animal fats, sweets, and sugary beverages.
Access the study: http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/305/17/1777
Life & Style blogs
Google Maps hides image of Android robot urinating on Apple in surprisingly insolent Easter egg
KickassTorrents down: new Isle of Man domain taken offline just hours after launch
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...
£75000 - £85000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the largest and fastes...
£16 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity for someone ...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...