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This posting may interest some of you have an interest in the relationship between the consumption of sodium and adverse human health outcomes.
Let’s face it, the mantra of lowering sodium in the human diet has been continually driven home to us for decades now. However, despite this and the newest recommendations for sodium intake provided in 2013 by the American Heart Association, there has been a great deal of disparity in what the actual research has shown regarding the influence that sodium has upon human health.
A case in point are the results of a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In this study 2642 older adults were followed for 10 years and their daily intake of sodium was calculated. The researchers discovered that the average daily intake of sodium as approximately 1 Tsp. per day or 2300 Mg. However, in this sample of study participants 291 consumed less than 1500 Mg. of sodium, 779 consumed between 1500-2300 Mg. per day and 1572 consumed more than 2300 Mg. per day. More on this a bit later…..
The controversy regarding sodium intake began in 2010 when the CDC recommended an intake of 2300 Mg and no more than 1500 Mg. per day for those who had heart disease, high blood pressure, were over 51 or were African Americans. Later in 2013, the AHA recommended that the total intake of sodium be limited to no more than 1500 Mg per day regardless of age or health history.
However, in 2013 following a exhaustive literature review, the Institute of Medicine determined that there was no evidence that could justify lowering sodium levels further to the 1500-2300 range.
In the above study, the researchers compared the amount of sodium intake in the 2642 subjects with the risk or probability of dying or experiencing a major cardiovascular event or heart failure after the 10 year follow-up.
Do you know what the researchers discovered?
Compared with those participants who consumed 1500 Mg. of sodium per day there was no difference in the risk of developing heart disease or death in those who consumed 1500-2300 of sodium each day. The same can be said for those who consumed over 2300 Mg. of sodium per day.
The published mortality rates for this group of adults aged from 71-80 after the 10 year follow-up based upon daily sodium intake are as follows:
less than 1500 Mg./day (33.8%)
1500-2300 Mg./day (30.7%)
greater than 2300 Mg./day (35.2%)
This research result was consistent regardless of gender, race or previous health history.
The data seems to indicate that most folks should try and keep their intake of sodium at 1 Tsp. per day. The data also shows that most people can handle greater sodium loads without too much trouble.
As previously indicated in a previous blog….maybe we should be looking elsewhere in our food chain for more offensive triggers. Added sugars from processed foods is an excellent place to start the journey!
Dr. Kevin J. McLaughlin
Director, The Vitality Project