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

People with moderate or average salt intake need not reduce their sodium intake, says a new study.

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

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. But people with moderate or average salt intake need not reduce their sodium intake, says a new study. 

The study involved 94,000 people from different parts of the world, including India. For a vast majority of individuals, sodium consumption does not increase heart risks, except for those who eat more than five grams a day, the equivalent of 2.5 teaspoons of salt.

The study that was published in the journal The Lancet revealed that even those who consume a little more than five grams of salt a day,  do not need to worry a lot. The study said that one can eliminate risk factors, if they improve their diet quality by adding fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, potatoes, and other potassium rich foods.


"The World Health Organization recommends consumption of less than two grams of sodium -- that's one teaspoon of salt -- a day as a preventative measure against cardiovascular disease, but there is little evidence in terms of improved health outcomes that individuals ever achieve at such a low level," said first author of the study Andrew Mente from Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

For the study the researchers followed 94,000 people, aged 35 to 70, for an average of eight years in communities from 18 countries around the world and found there was an associated risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes only where the average intake was greater than five grams of sodium a day.China is the only country in the study where 80 per cent of communities have a sodium intake of more than five grams a day. In the other countries, the majority of the communities had an average sodium consumption of 3 to 5 grams a day (equivalent to 1.5 to 2.5 teaspoons of salt).


Study's co-author Martin O'Donnell, Associate Professor at McMaster said that the impact of sodium intake is heavily contingent on individual-level information, or so can be inferred from most previous studies. 


Therefore people who have been including moderate amounts of sodium in their diet, need not eliminate salt completely from their diet. 

(With Inputs IANS) 

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