Filed Under: Food Police Food Scares

Another Study Vindicates Salt?

Despite the claims of activists who say that table salt is “the deadly white powder you already snort,” medical research continues to find evidence that a moderate sodium intake is better for the average person than a highly restricted, activist-dictated intake. And sure enough, a new study in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that sodium restriction for the general populace may not be warranted.

An international team of researchers from McMaster University and seven other institutions and hospitals found that the probability of cardiovascular death or hospitalization for congestive heart failure was higher in the study cohorts whose members excreted less than three or more than seven grams of sodium. (The authors used urinary sodium excretion as a way of estimating sodium intake.) The results are important because the average American already consumes about 3.4 grams of sodium—in the middle range of the study’s results—and public health activists want us all to consume below 3 grams of sodium. Will this research give them pause?

With evidence piling up that salt isn’t the evil it’s made out to be, it cannot be surprising that some in the medical community are advising a halt to the government war on salt.

Even before this latest research, when New York City introduced voluntary guidelines for salt reduction the editor of the American Journal of Hypertension, Dr. Michael Alderman, warned that the city was engaging in “an experiment on a whole population.” Dr. Niels A. Graudal, who conducted research on sodium and blood pressure, found other negative health effects from a salt-restricted diet that led him to tell WebMD, “On the contrary the net effect [of a restricted-salt diet] may be harmful.”

Without what Alderman called “convincing scientific evidence of a benefit to eating less salt, much less an assurance of safety,” public health bureaucrats should refrain from sending the salt shaker to the slammer.

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