The Salt Institute (Alexandria, VA) is speaking out against recent government efforts to reduce high sodium levels in the diet.
The Salt Institute (Alexandria, VA) is speaking out against recent government efforts to reduce high sodium levels in the diet. Below is an excerpt of a press release from the Institute.
“The scientific evidence is overwhelming,” said Lori Roman, president of the Salt Institute. “A study by the world-renowned Cochrane Collaboration, published today in the American Journal of Hypertension, proves beyond any reasonable doubt that population-wide sodium-reduction efforts provide no measurable benefits and may increase the risk of disease and death. In light of this, and other recent research, it is time for the government to cease its costly and wasteful efforts to reduce salt consumption until it can conclusively prove a tangible benefit for all consumers. This can only be done through a large-scale clinical trial on the impact of dietary salt reduction on health outcomes.”Ã¢ÂÂ¨Ã¢ÂÂ¨
The latest study, led by Professor Rod Taylor of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, involved an exhaustive search process to identify all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to examine the relationship between dietary salt reduction and mortality or cardiovascular disease in adults with normal and high blood pressure. In all, seven studies were examined. The only study on heart failure found a significantly increased number of deaths due to a reduced sodium diet, countering all claims made to the contrary.Ã¢ÂÂ¨Ã¢ÂÂ¨
“Within the last couple of years, we have seen peer-reviewed studies published in the most highly respected medical journals consistently indicate that population-wide efforts to reduce sodium consumption are ill advised,” said Roman. “Reducing salt places consumers at a higher risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, loss of cognition, and death. These scientific studies trump all the hocus-pocus computer-model estimates of anti-salt activists regarding alleged lives saved and healthcare costs reduced with lower salt intake.”Ã¢ÂÂ¨Ã¢ÂÂ¨
“The Salt Institute has repeatedly asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services to support randomized clinical trials. We repeat this call so that the country may move forward on a science-based agenda to truly improve the health of our citizens,” stated Roman.
Mort Satin, the Salt Institute’s Vice President of Science and Research, stressed the need for health policy to be based on evidence, not politics. “The public health agencies have deliberately ignored the preponderance of clinical evidence in order to pursue a reckless salt reduction agenda based far more on ideology than science,” said Satin.
“Not only can salt reduction prove harmful, but it also negatively affects the two most important approaches that are guaranteed to improve our health – increased physical exercise and the adoption of a Mediterranean/Dash-type diet. Because of perspiration, more exercise requires more, not less, salt consumption. The Mediterranean diet is not only heart-healthy, it is salt-wealthy because of all the salads and vegetables that are consumed. Cutting back on salt makes salads and vegetables less palatable and will discourage wider adoption of the Mediterranean diet,” stated Satin.