Friday, July 22, 2011

It's Time to End the War on Salt


"This week a meta-analysis of seven studies involving a total of 6,250 subjects in theAmerican Journal of Hypertension found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death in people with normal or high blood pressure. In May European researchers publishing in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the less sodium that study subjects excreted in their urine—an excellent measure of prior consumption—the greater their risk was of dying from heart disease. These findings call into question the common wisdom that excess salt is bad for you, but the evidence linking salt to heart disease has always been tenuous."


  1. I've read the studies. Sodium intake is extremely important for some (repeat SOME) people and unimportant for others. If you have hypertension or a family history of it and your blood pressure changes with salt intake, you need to worry about it.

    btw, I just realized that "I like you so much better when you're naked" by Ida Maria sounds a lot like the Banana Splits Theme Song in the chorus. I keep switching between them in my head.

  2. Agreed on both counts.

    Some individuals are clearly hypersensitive to sodium intake and need to watch their sodium religiously. I would never recommend someone ignore their doctor's advice to restrict sodium.

    I think such individuals are in a decided minority, however. I know that a genetic marker for salt sensitive hypertension has been found, though I know of no studies to see how prevalent that marker is in the population.

    It is relatively easy for a person to find this out for themselves without genetic testing. Follow a severely salt restricted diet (not while ultra running!!) for a month and track your blood pressure. If it goes down appreciably, you are probably salt sensitive. In the apparently more likely case that it doesn't, chances are you don't need to worry about your salt intake.

    I personally like the version of the Banana Splits theme that appeared in the movie Kick Ass, by the Dickies.