New research results show that lowering sodium intake can prolong life. In a study lasting for over 24 years with 3000 participants who had elevated blood pressure, patient blood pressure and
There have already been numerous studies that prove that sodium increases blood pressure, and therefore increases risk of cardiovascular disease.
Some recent studies have shown a surprising curve in results that indicate that the lowest rates of cardiovascular death are amongst people who are consuming the lowest levels of sodium. In the beginning of the trial, participants had increased blood pressure, but below the threshold of hypertension. During the trial, the effect on low sodium diet as well as weight loss effect on blood pressure was assessed. It was compared to group of patients who did not make any changes in sodium intake. Patients were assessed for around three years.
When the data was combined form patients of both groups, it turned out that the death rate in the low-sodium groups was smaller, giving them a 15% lower risk of death. Still, this difference is statistically insignificant. There are a lot of reasons why the trial turned out that way, one of them being that the dietary interventions to reduce salt must be intensive, but it is hard to achieve.
Nevertheless, researchers found that the risk of death raises steady with increase of sodium intake. There was no data on the effects of very low sodium intake, but when sodium intake is between low and moderate, the death rate is significantly lower. People who tend to consume a lot of sodium have severe benefits of reducing it.
Sodium intake is directly linked to increase of blood pressure. There is also affect on the blood vessels of the kidney, but these effects are not fully understood.
Current recommendation is to use no more than 2300 mg of sodium per day- about one teaspoon of salt. The American Heart Association recommends even less- no more that 1500 g of sodium. These levels are hard to achieve in the food environment in America. One way to help people to become more aware of sodium intake is to put proper labeling on food packages. Still one of the best options is to cook at home as much as possible, and use a healthy diet that is filled with a lot of fruits and vegetables.