Study: Current CDC Salt Guidelines Are Too Low

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Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stlbites/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stlbites/

If you are often a little heavy handed on the salt shaker, a new study published Wednesday in the American Journal of Hypertension may have some good news for you. The analysis from Denmark found that current recommended salt guidelines may be too low. HealthDay News highlighted the study this week and explained that after researching twenty-five prior studies, health experts in Denmark found that low levels of salt consumption may be linked with a greater risk of death.

That means that although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said time and time again that Americans consume too much salt, the agency may actually be wrong. Review author Dr. Niels Graudal, a senior consultant at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, explained via HealthDay, “For most people, there is no reason to change their dietary habits concerning salt, as most people eat what appears to be the safest amount.”

So that changes things. Currently, the CDC has a recommendation for less than 2,300 mg of salt per day for healthy people under 50, and less than 1,500 mg per day for more people over 50. On the other hand, Graudal and his team believe that the safe range is actually somewhere between 2,645 and 4,945 mg of salt a day, and most of the world’s populations consume somewhere in that range.

It’s an interesting study, and one that isn’t expected to change current public health policy in the United States or CDC recommendations, but it is still important to note that not only did health experts find that too much salt is harmful, they determined that too little salt is damaging as well. As pointed out by HealthDay News, we’ve long known that overconsumption of salt can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality; however, what we didn’t know, and what new research maintains, is that too little salt can also lead to the same harmful effects.

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