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"The Truth About Salt: It's Not As Scary As The Government Says It Is".
The study found that decade after decade, American adults ate 3,700 milligrams of sodium a day, similar to levels found in international studies. Some researchers think that this similarity is so stunning and consistent in different diets and cultures, that it could mean that humans have a set level of salt intake that we are hardwired to seek out, and that this level is higher than recommended doses.
"It's spooky how consistent this number is," David McCarron, a researcher at University of California, Davis, told USA Today in 2010.
"Salt and Blood Pressure: Conventinal Wisdom Reconsidered".
The “salt hypothesis” is that higher levels of salt in the diet lead to higher levels of blood pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Intersalt, a crosssectional study of salt levels and blood pressures in 52 populations, is often cited to support the salt hypothesis, but the data are somewhat contradictory. Four of the populations (Kenya, Papua, and two Indian tribes in Brazil) do have low levels of salt and blood pressure. Across the other 48 populations, however, blood pressures go down as salt levels go up—contradicting the hypothesis. Experimental evidence suggests that the effect of a large reduction in salt intake on blood pressure is modest, and health consequences remain to be determined. Funding agencies and medical journals have taken a stronger position favoring the salt hypothesis than is warranted, raising questions about the interaction between the policy process and science.
"Effects of Low-Sodium Diet vs. High-Sodium Diet on Blood Pressure, Renin, Aldosterone, Catecholamines, Cholesterol, and Triglyceride (Cochrane Review)"
"Salt, Blood Pressure and Health: A Cautionary Tale
Little controversy surrounds much of what is known about the effects of dietary sodium. Substantial variation in intake (75-100 mmol/24-h) can produce measurable, but modest changes in aggregate blood pressure. However, that effect is variable, and subjects have been arbitrarily described as salt sensitive and resistant. The effect seems to be more substantial in older subjects and in those with higher pressures. Any decision to adopt a low sodium diet should be made with awareness that there is no evidence that this reduction is either safe, in terms of ultimate health impact or that it wll produce cardioprotection. Clearly, there is no justification for a population-wide, public health recommendation for radical
"Effects of Low-Sodium Diet vs. High-Sodium Diet on Blood Pressure, Renin, Aldosterone, Catecholamines, Cholesterol, and Triglyceride (Cochrane Review)".
In conclusion, low- vs. high-sodium diet in Caucasians with normal BP decreases BP <1%. . . . In Caucasians with elevated BP, short-term sodium reduction decreases BP by ~2–2.5%, indicating that sodium reduction may be used as a supplementary treatment for hypertension.