Pass the salt
Salt may have been unfairly targeted as a killer in the healthy heart stakes, according to newly published research.
The observational study of over 90000 people in 300 communities across 18 countries, found that sodium consumption was not associated with an increase in health risks unless the average daily consumption was excessive – more than 5g/day or 2.5 teaspoons of salt. And, this average high daily sodium intake was mostly seen in China, with only about 15% of communities outside of China exceeding this 5g a day limit.
As part of this ongoing Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study, participants aged 35-70 were assessed initially at baseline and then followed for an average of 8.1 years, over which time the occurrence of any major cardiovascular events or death was recorded.
What the researchers found was that the risk of hypertension and strokes was only increased in communities where ...