Too little salt in food increases the risk of disease

Labourers work on a salt pan on a hot summer morning in MumbaiLabourers work on a salt pan on a hot summer morning in Mumbai, India.Photo: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Contrary to the conventional wisdom that little salt in food provides health benefits, there is now new research stating that, people risk disease and death if they ingest too little salt.

The study, presented in the journal The Lancet, shows that people who ingest low salt, i.e. less than 3 grams per day, are at higher risk of being affected by heart attacks, strokes and death compared to those who eat normal amounts of salt, about 5-6 grams. Not even people with high blood pressure have benefits from eating low salt, it is the contrary, the study shows.

– These are very important findings for those suffering from high blood pressure, says one researcher behind the study, Andrew Mente at McMaster University in Canada.
The study is based on 130,000 participants in 49 countries.

The conclusion supports indeed the principle, that people with high blood pressure and those who eat a lot of salt, should reduce salt intake, but unlike previous advice, they should not go below what is called normal salt intake, i.e. 6.5 grams. Ingesting less salt than that, even when suffering from hypertension, increases the risk of illness and death, says the study.

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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