A new study conducted on 2,400 adults aged 71 to 80 shows that the daily sodium intake does not affect the mortality rate or the risk of developing cardiovascular disease or overall health failure.
The study was based on a 10-year survey, and it was published Monday in the journal in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Over the 10-year period, about 880 study participants died – those who said their daily sodium intake was 1,500 mg had nearly 35 percent death rate, while those who consumed 1,500 – 2,300 mg of salt per day had a 30 percent mortality rate. Also, those consuming more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day had a death rate of 35 percent.
Additionally, nearly 30 percent of 1,900 study participants that had reported at the beginning of the study they weren’t affected by any heart condition developed a heart disease although they ate less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.
Among study participants, 28 percent of those who consumed between 1,500 and 2,300 mg of sodium developed heart disease, while 30 percent of those ingesting more than 2,300 mg on a daily basis. So, it seems that no matter the sodium intake the risk of developing a disease was nearly the same. And so was the risk of dying.
However, governmental guidelines recommend less than 2,300 mg of sodium intake per day for everyone aged 2 or more, and less than 1,500 mg for those older than 50.
Dr. Andreas Kalogeropoulos, lead author of the study, said that more research was required to confirm the findings, so federal government regulations should remain unchanged.
Dr. Kalogeropoulos added that he wouldn’t be concerned about his study changing people’s mentality on salt intake since the study hadn’t revealed that low sodium intake brought any health benefits, nor any harms either.
Dr. Bonnie Liebman who wasn’t involved in the study said that the findings may be inaccurate since participants were asked about their daily sodium intake. Still, people tend to say they consume less salt when asked, Dr. Liebman explained.
The new findings may be of great interest to fast-food restaurant chains that usually exaggerate with the amount of salt they put in their products.
Last June, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told reporters in an interview that it would issue strict guidelines related to how much salt restaurants should add to their products by 2014, but it didn’t.
Although, the Dietary Guidelines of America recommend people consume less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day if they are over 50, or have high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease, Americans usually consume more than 3,400 mg per day.
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