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Scientists update their view: Salt – is not as dangerous as they thought

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Researchers who studied tens of thousands of people from five countries found that increased salt intake did not increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke or premature death. In some cases, a reverse ratio was found between salt intake and increased risk of morbidity and mortality.

Edited by: Niemann Pharmaceutical Investments – Medical Team, Berlin, Germany

We have been warned for years from the damages of salt intake, but now scientists try to calm us: a new study reveals that if you do not have heart disease, moderate consumption of salt – almost sure it does not endanger you. The findings were published in the new issue of the prestigious medical journal ‘The Lancet’.

The researchers followed nearly 96,000 adults aged 35 to 70 years who had no heart disease for about eight years. The subjects came from 225 cities in five countries. In 80% of the countries, half of the women consume an average of three to five grams of sodium per day.

Even when the subjects consumed more than twice the recommended daily amount of 2 grams of sodium per day (the main ingredient in salt), they did not have an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or death. Only the consumption of more than 5 grams of sodium per day, led to a slight increase in blood pressure, 3 mmHg (normal blood pressure is around 120/80 mmHg).

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A reverse ratio was found between risk of mortality, for any reason, and sodium intake

High salt intake reduced mortality risk

Increased sodium intake was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, only in places where half of the population consumed at least 5.75 mg sodium per day. But even there the correlation was not statistically significant, i.e. it’s possible that the results were incidental. China was exceptional in this connection, where sodium intake there was three times more than the recommended daily amount and was associated with a slightly increased risk of stroke.

"In the study we found that sodium does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or mortality," said Dr. Menta McMaster of the University of Hamilton in Ontario, in an interview with Reuters: "In fact, we found a reverse ratio between the risk of death from any cause and sodium intake, so that high salt intake reduced mortality risk. An increased risk of stroke is observed only at very high levels of daily sodium intake, over 5 grams per day."
The researchers also found that in all the countries examined, the risk of a heart attack or stroke was reduced as the consumption of another salt - potassium – was increased. Foods rich in potassium include vegetables and fruits, nuts, potatoes and dairy products.

Sodium, the main mineral in the salt in which we spicy the food, is important for the proper functioning of the body: it is used to the function of the cells of the body, to transmit nerve signals and to the function of the brain. Sodium also affects muscle function, as well as kidney function. Salt is also important for maintaining fluid balance inside and outside body cells. Without it - it is impossible for the human body to function.
Too low levels of salt occur most often during dehydration, a condition known as Hyponatremia. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, weakness, headaches, confusion and in severe cases seizures, heart arrhythmia, coma and death.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting salt intake to no more than 1.5 grams of sodium per day for people at risk for heart disease. The World Health Organization recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2 grams of sodium per day, equal to a teaspoon of salt a day.

Prof. Dr. Niemann, Cardiologist and Co-owner of Niemann Pharmaceutical Investments adds:” it’s the ratio between Sodium and Potassium that play a crucial role. People who consume salt on daily basis beyond the recommended amount should take Potassium (as food supplements) in order to keep the normal ratio”.

We share our medical findings regarding the effectiveness of “mix of food supplements - cocktail” with the following pharmaceutical companies:

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