Hold the salt, please—or maybe not. Two new studies cast some doubts over the relationship between sodium consumption and poor cardiovascular health. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, both studies measured the sodium intake of over 100,000 people. One study found that sodium intake had a tenuous connection with hypertension; the link was most evident in older people, in those who had the highest sodium intake, and in people who already had hypertension. However, for younger people who ate a diet moderately high in sodium, there was no clear link to higher blood pressure. In fact, the second study found that ingesting between 3 and 6 grams of sodium daily (more than the American Heart Association recommends) correlated with a lower risk of death and cardiovascular events. Not everyone, however, is on board for a salt revolution. Skeptics point out that the studies did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship and measured sodium intake only once. These studies also conflict with a global assessment on sodium intake published in the same edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, which found that sodium consumption led to 1.65 million deaths from cardiovascular events in 2010.
Source: Los Angeles Times and NBC News