Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Studies support population-based efforts to lower excessive dietary sodium intakes

Date:
May 14, 2013
Source:
National Academy of Sciences
Summary:
Recent studies that examine links between sodium consumption and health outcomes support recommendations to lower sodium intake from the very high levels some Americans consume now, but evidence from these studies does not support reduction in sodium intake to below 2,300 mg per day, says a new report.

Recent studies that examine links between sodium consumption and health outcomes support recommendations to lower sodium intake from the very high levels some Americans consume now, but evidence from these studies does not support reduction in sodium intake to below 2,300 mg per day, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

Despite efforts over the past several decades to reduce dietary intake of sodium, a main component of table salt, the average American adult still consumes 3,400 mg or more of sodium a day -- equivalent to about 1 ˝ teaspoons of salt. The current Dietary Guidelines for Americansurge most people ages 14 to 50 to limit their sodium intake to 2,300 mg daily. People ages 51 or older, African Americans, and people with hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease -- groups that together make up more than 50 percent of the U.S. population -- are advised to follow an even stricter limit of 1,500 mg per day. These recommendations are based largely on a body of research that links higher sodium intakes to certain "surrogate markers" such as high blood pressure, an established risk factor for heart disease.

The expert committee that wrote the new report reviewed recent studies that in contrast examined how sodium consumption affects direct health outcomes like heart disease and death. "These new studies support previous findings that reducing sodium from very high intake levels to moderate levels improves health," said committee chair Brian Strom, George S. Pepper Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. "But they also suggest that lowering sodium intake too much may actually increase a person's risk of some health problems."

While cautioning that the quantity of evidence was less-than-optimal and that the studies were qualitatively limited by the methods used to measure sodium intake, the small number of patients with health outcomes of interest in some of the studies, and other methodological constraints, the committee concluded that:

·evidence supports a positive relationship between higher levels of sodium intake and risk of heart disease, which is consistent with previous research based on sodium's effects on blood pressure;

·studies on health outcomes are inconsistent in quality and insufficient in quantity to conclude that lowering sodium intake levels below 2,300 mg/day either increases or decreases the risk of heart disease, stroke, or all-cause mortality in the general U.S. population;

·evidence indicates that low sodium intake may lead to risk of adverse health effects among those with mid- to late-stage heart failure who are receiving aggressive treatment for their disease;

·there is limited evidence addressing the association between low sodium intake and health outcomes in population subgroups (i.e., those with diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, hypertension or borderline hypertension; those 51 years of age and older; and African Americans). While studies on health outcomes provide some evidence for adverse health effects of low sodium intake (in ranges approximating 1,500 to 2,300 mg daily) among those with diabetes, kidney disease, or heart disease, the evidence on both the benefit and harm is not strong enough to indicate that these subgroups should be treated differently from the general U.S. population. Thus, the evidence on direct health outcomes does not support recommendations to lower sodium intake within these subgroups to or even below 1,500 mg daily; and

·further research is needed to shed more light on associations between lower levels of sodium (in the 1,500 to 2,300 mg/day range) and health outcomes, both in the general population and the subgroups.

The report does not establish a "healthy" intake range, both because the committee was not tasked with doing so and because variability in the methodologies used among the studies would have precluded it.

The recent studies suggest that dietary sodium intake may affect heart disease risk through pathways in addition to blood pressure. "These studies make clear that looking at sodium's effects on blood pressure is not enough to determine dietary sodium's ultimate impact on health," said Strom. "Changes in diet are more complex than simply changing a single mineral. More research is needed to understand these pathways."

Report: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18311


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Academy of Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Academy of Sciences. "Studies support population-based efforts to lower excessive dietary sodium intakes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514122759.htm>.
National Academy of Sciences. (2013, May 14). Studies support population-based efforts to lower excessive dietary sodium intakes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514122759.htm
National Academy of Sciences. "Studies support population-based efforts to lower excessive dietary sodium intakes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514122759.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) — Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins