A new study claims that dramatically reducing your salt intake might not protect against stroke and heart disease after all! Researchers from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark say that in Caucasian people with regular blood pressure, a large reduction in the amount of salt consumed might actually do more harm than good.
Reducing your sodium intake is often thought to protect the heart (or not, we’ve not so long ago seen a story that shows otherwise: ) as it lowers blood pressure, which is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
Now, however, an analysis of existing information found that the (only) moderate benefit to blood pressure could be cancelled out by increases in cholesterol and other harmful compounds.
The researchers analysed 167 studies where participants reduced their salt intake by a much greater amount than current guidelines recommend. Overall, in patients with high blood pressure, there was a resulting drop of 3.5%. For those with normal blood pressure, the result was less than 1%.
The new diet also caused cholesterol levels to raise by 2.5%, and levels of certain hormones associated with heart risk to also rise.
The results weren’t conclusive enough to show that black or Asian people would see the same effects.
Written exclusively for The Life Dept | Live Longer | 10 November 2011.
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