#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 6°C Thursday 9 December 2021

Cutting out salt may not lower your blood pressure

Adults are recommended to limit their daily intake of sodium to around 2,300 milligrams a day.

Image: Shutterstock/HandmadePictures

A MASSIVE 16-YEAR study has found that cutting salt intake may not lower blood pressure, calling into question dietary guidelines.

The research, carried out at Boston University School of Medicine was presented this week at the annual meeting during the Experimental Biology 2017 in Chicago.

“We saw no evidence that a diet lower in sodium had any long-term beneficial effects on blood pressure,” said Lynn L Moore, DSc, associate professor of medicine. “Our findings add to growing evidence that current recommendations for sodium intake may be misguided.”

Adults are recommended to limit their daily intake of sodium to around 2,300 mg a day.

For the study, the researchers followed 2,632 men and women ages 30 to 64 years old who were part of the Framingham Offspring Study.

The participants had normal blood pressure at the study’s start. However, over the next 16 years, the researchers found that the study participants who consumed less than 2500 milligrams of sodium a day had higher blood pressure than participants who consumed higher amounts of sodium.

Other large studies published in the past few years have found what researchers call a J-shaped relationship between sodium and cardiovascular risk – that means people with low-sodium diets and people with a very high sodium intake (above the usual intake of the average American) had higher risks of heart disease.

Those with the lowest risk had sodium intakes in the middle, which is the range consumed by most people.

“Our new results support these other studies that have questioned the wisdom of low dietary sodium intakes in the general population,” said Moore.

Read: Belief that saturated fat clogs arteries is ‘just plain wrong’

Read next: