Study participants consumed an average of 4,930 milligrams of sodium a day, for 3.7 years. Researchers found that 4.3% of those who consumed less than 3,000 milligrams of sodium either died, suffered a heart attack or stroke or developed heart failure in that time, versus 3.1% with intake between 3,000 and 6,000 milligrams.
Current sodium intake guidelines are largely derived from short-term studies that found low-salt diets beneficial in lowering blood pressure for people already diagnosed with current or borderline hypertension. What is lacking, however, are studies that show a resulting reduction in blood pressure actually reduces risk of death or serious cardiovascular problems.
This latest report from the Institute of Medicine has further divided health experts over whether or not sodium guidelines should be modified upward. In the meantime, for consumers who’ve been missing their salty foods, it appears you may be able to relax the reins a bit – at least until the next study comes out.
In cooperation with NAEBA