Research Suggests Salt Intake May Be Too Low

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The study, Fatal and Nonfatal Outcomes, Incidence of Hypertension, and Blood Pressure Changes in Relation to Urinary Sodium Excretion, disputes conventional wisdom that too much salt in the diet leads to an increase in hypertension and blood pressure.

Doctors in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Russia, studied 3,681 healthy, middle-aged Europeans and monitored their salt usage. The researchers found that those who used higher than recommended levels of salt were no more likely to develop high blood pressure than those who used less with their food. One of the findings suggested that the rate of heart disease seemed to decrease with the amount of salt that was added to the diet.

Another finding suggested that over the period of the study there were 50 deaths in a third of the participants using the lowest amount of salt, and just ten deaths among those with the highest salt levels. Doctors from the US-based Centers for Disease Control dispute this study, believing that the intake of salt should be limited.

The research is the culminiation of work carried out over 25 years including the latest period of research between 2005 and 2008.