Breaking down the Cochrane Review on sodium

Breaking down the Cochrane Review on sodium

Will reducing salt improve your health? Maybe not. The authors conclude that while salt reduction may not reduce the risk of cardiac death in people with normal blood pressure, it may still be beneficial in lowering blood pressure.

The Cochrane Review, published in the American Journal of Hypertension in August, 2011, noted that results of its analysis of research on sodium and disease “showed no strong evidence of any effect of salt reduction on CVD morbidity in people with normal blood pressure.”

But that’s only part of what the authors of the review concluded. They further stated, “There is still insufficient power to exclude clinically important effects of reduced dietary salt on mortality or CVD morbidity. Our estimates of benefits from dietary salt restriction are consistent with the predicted small effects on clinical events attributable to the small blood pressure reduction achieved.”

Still, Dr. Taylor and the other authors did seem to disagree with governmental initiatives to reduce salt intake as the best available interventions for the prevention and control of non-communicable disease, stating, “Our review focuses on dietary advice and has not found robust evidence to support this approach.” A flurry of responses cried “foul” and presented arguments in support of continuing the effort to reduce sodium in the American diet.

For example, in an article titled, “Dietary sodium intake among Canadian adults with and without hypertension,” published in the journal Chronic Diseases in Canada (March 2011), researchers from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control have determined that nearly 30 percent of hypertension among Canadian adults may be attributed to excess dietary sodium. This prompted them to conclude that, “Better approaches are needed to reduce sodium intake in hypertension patients, as well as the general population.”

Learn more in How to formulate low sodium products that sell

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