Sodium May Actually Be Good For You
Sodium intake above a certain level has often been blamed for increased risk of heart attack or stroke, but a surprising new study suggests that low salt intake can actually increase the risk of dying from cardiovascular causes.
The study, published in the May 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, followed more than three thousand healthy European men and women from age 60 or younger for eight years. It found that above-average intake of salt and other sodium-related foods did not appear to heighten risk of hypertension or other causes relating to heart attack or stroke. In fact, those who consumed the least amounts of sodium experienced a 56 percent greater chance of death from heart attack or stroke than those who were consuming sodium in greater amounts.
However, researchers involved in the study only tested sodium levels twice—once at the beginning of the study period and once at the end. According to CBS News, sodium levels can fluctuate greatly from day to day, meaning that the study may not have gotten a clear picture. Also, because the group studied was healthier than the average American, it is difficult to gauge how low sodium intakes would affect a group more sensitive to salt.
The findings come at the heels of a widespread campaign in the United States to reduce the amounts of salty foods in restaurant.