This is crazy. A new study evaluating the link between salt intake and heart problems finds that people with low sodium intake also have an increased risk of cardiovascular issues. But the “low” sodium intake that was linked to increased risk was between 2,000 and 3,000mg per day…in other words, substantially higher than the American Heart Association’s recommended maximum intake of 1500mg. The risk declined slightly at higher intakes and then rose again when sodium intake got up around 8,000mg per day.
Study details: Too little salt may also increase risk of heart problems.
To me, this somewhat ridiculous finding confirms what I’ve long suspected:Except for those with salt-sensitive hypertension, the relationship between sodium intake and heart disease is largely a red herring. I think we could do a lot more good by coaching people to increase their potassium intake than haranguing them to decrease sodium intake.
Sodium and Potassium: What’s the Relationship?
Forget Salt: Focus on Potassium
Why Can’t The Experts Agree on Sodium?
3 thoughts on “Low sodium intake linked to heart problems?”
This makes me think of many other situations in which a single food or nutrient is either blamed for health problems (think fats and cholesterol levels) or given credit for good health. The truth is, and you tell it often, that good health is about balance. One thing in isolation is rarely “the answer” to any problem, or the silver bullet to cure everything. Thanks!
Weren’t the patients used in this study from clinical trials involving people already at high risk for cardiovascular events? How accurate is sodium excretion measurements in determining intake? I assume kidney function plays a part in it.
I remembered that Dr. Parker had written about a similar study (publ. 2006) for Nutrition Data.