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  1. #1 Study: Lower salt intake could be riskier than thought 
    Study: Lower salt intake could be riskier than thought
    By Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY


    By Katye Martens, USA TODAY

    A European study finds that those who ingest less sodium have an increased risk of cardiovascular death, but U.S. experts are taking the results with a grain of salt.

    The American Heart Association encourages people to consume no more than 1,500 milligrams a day of sodium to reduce their risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease. This is less than half of what people consume now.

    One reason for this advice: Elevated blood pressure is a major public health problem approximately 90% of all Americans will develop hypertension over their lifetime, the heart association says.

    But a new European population study coordinated in Belgium raises questions about sodium and its effect on the heart.

    Researchers followed 3,681 people, average age 40, for about eight years, testing sodium excretion in the urine. They found that systolic blood pressure (the top number) was slightly lower in those who excreted less sodium, but this didn't translate into a lower risk of cardiovascular death — in fact, those with lower sodium excretion had an increased risk of cardiovascular death. The findings were consistent in participants younger and older than 60 years.

    Jan Staessen, a professor of medicine at the University of Leuven in Belgium and one of the authors of the study in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, says this study does not support the recommendation of a general reduction of salt intake for everyone, although salt reduction could be beneficial in lowering the blood pressure of people with hypertension. "Lower sodium intake is recommended for people with high blood pressure and people with heart failure, but recommending it to the population as a whole, I wouldn't do without proving it's completely safe," he says.

    "If one lowers sodium intake to lower blood pressure, this change in sodium activates several systems (including the renin-angiotensin aldosterone system) that conserve sodium, and those systems are implicated in disease processes such as damaging the arterial wall and kidneys," Staessen says,

    This study may apply to Americans of white European descent, but it might less applicable to blacks because they are believed to be more salt sensitive, he says.
    Finally. Only a small percentage of people with hypertension are helped by restricting sodium, for most it makes no difference at all and it certainly doesn't cause heart disease.

    USA Today
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  2. #2  
    An Adversary of Linda #'s
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Finally. Only a small percentage of people with hypertension are helped by restricting sodium, for most it makes no difference at all and it certainly doesn't cause heart disease.

    USA Today
    JAMA:
    Journal of the American Medical Association

    New study: Low-salt diet kills

    snip
    A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (May 4), reports that among 3,681 study subjects followed for as long as 23 years, the cardiovascular death rate was more than 50 percent higher among those on who consumed less salt.

    The researchers concluded that their findings, “refute the estimates of computer model of lives saved and health care costs reduced with lower salt intake” and they do not support “the current recommendations of a generalized and indiscriminate reduction in salt intake at the population level.”
    snip
    Which is more dangerous: dietary salt or the government’s dietary guidelines? A new study confirms some old truths.

    A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (May 4), reports that among 3,681 study subjects followed for as long as 23 years, the cardiovascular death rate was more than 50 percent higher among those on who consumed less salt.

    The researchers concluded that their findings, “refute the estimates of computer model of lives saved and health care costs reduced with lower salt intake” and they do not support “the current recommendations of a generalized and indiscriminate reduction in salt intake at the population level.”

    But that sort of reduction is precisely what the U.S. government now recommends.

    In April 2010, the National Institute of Medicine issued a report calling for Americans to reduce salt intake from an average of 3,400 milligrams per day to 1,500 milligrams per day and less for those over 50.

    The IOM report claimed that such population-wide reduction could prevent more than 100,000 deaths annually. “Sodium intake is too high to be safe,” was what Dr. Jane Henney, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and chairman of the IOM committee that produced the report, told the media at the time.

    Then this past February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture incorporated the IOM’s recommendations into the federal dietary guidelines.

    So who should we believe?

    The new JAMA study didn’t break any ground with its finding. In fact, a host of studies published since 1995 fail to show any improved health outcomes for broad populations on reduced salt diets.
    snip
    Given that there is no scientific evidence showing dietary salt by itself to cause hypertension, as opposed to simply contributing to the condition once it already exists in individuals, a population-wide recommendation to reduce salt intake is simply not warranted.
    snip
    But of course the matter is more serious than simply the Nanny state taking away tasty food by making it less salty. Proverbially rubbing salt in the wound, the federal government’s advice could actually kill people, according to the new study as well as prior research.

    There is a larger point here that goes beyond salt.

    Since the 1970s, the federal government and the alarmist public health establishment have been telling Americans what to eat. Don’t eat butter and switch to margarine. Reduce egg intake. Eat less meat. Eat more fiber and grains.

    But there isn’t any sound science behind any of this advice. As it turns out, the public health establishment now ranks the trans-fat containing margarine as less heart healthy than the butter it replaced. Oops. Eggs too have been exorcised except perhaps for those individuals with a pathological cholesterol condition. And the dietary fiber myth was never based on any science to begin with, junk or otherwise.

    The reality is that while many tasty foods are easily demonized and made politically incorrect, and while many not-so-tasty foods are halo-ed and made politically correct, precisely what foods and how much of them individuals can healthfully consume is far more complex than the Nanny state is willing to admit.

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/36112
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