Elk Grove Chiropractor Dr. Doug Ferguson DC 95758, Rhino Chiropractic

Lower Sodium Levels Linked To Higher Cardiovascular Risk

We hear it constantly, high sodium in your diet increases the possibility of cardiovascular trouble down the road or sooner. That truism is being contradicted by a new study by Belgian and Polish scientists and was published in the May 4th Journal of the American Medical Association.

A group of over 3600 disease free subjects were tested by urine analysis in this study. The researchers found that while a lower sodium level was linked to a higher risk of heart related mortality, high blood levels were not. Higher levels of sodium were not linked to any increased risk nor were they found to cause heart disease issues.

The lead author of the study said that they were all taken aback by the results even though the same results were produced in a similar study by US researchers. The only difference in the two sets of findings is that the participants in the US study were asked to stay away from high sodium food for a few days prior to their tests.

Study writerDr. Katarzyna Stolarz-Skrzypek stated”Our findings do not support the current recommendations of a generalized and indiscriminate reduction of salt intake at the population level.” and “We believe that the consumers should be informed about risk related to low- or high-salt diet and be free to choose the consumed food. However, our findings do not negate the blood pressure-lowering effects of a dietary salt reduction in hypertensive patients.”

The individuals, aged about 41 years, were monitoredfor 8 years and surprisingly deaths related to cardiovascular problems were amplified in the individuals that had the lowest levels of sodium in their systems.

Another group of 2100 participants were monitored for 6.5 years and the findings for that group were just as stunning.Increased sodium amounts were not connected with high blood pressure at all. This of course is the opposite finding of tons of US reports.  

A cardiologist from New York said, “The results are just so shocking, this was a strictly European population, not our melting-pot-of-America mix. So this isn’t exactly pertaining to our population.”

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, says she was “disturbed” by the study’s findings and felt that since it was a European study, people in the US probably must not take it seriously.

Dr. Stolarz-Skrzypek agreed with those sentiments to a point and said that the number of cardiovascular problems among such a young study population would prbably be small no matter what the level of salt intake and that a single period of testing may not be good enough for a study of this type, to produce a solid answer.

“Our study included only white Europeans, and its findings therefore cannot be extrapolated to Asian or, in particular, black individuals, who might be more salt-sensitive than white people,” she said.

American Heart Association President Dr. Ralph Sacco announced in January that the ROI (return on investment) of lower salt intake has been proved over and over again in entire libraries of research over decades.

“A compelling and still-increasing body of evidence supports the imperative for population-wide sodium reduction as an integral component of public health efforts to prevent cardiovascular disease, stroke and kidney disease,” Sacco said. “The potential public health benefits are enormous and extend to virtually all Americans.”

The ancient Chinese were fond of advising that you take everything in moderation and that certainly sounds like the attitude to take here. Keep your salt intake at moderation at least until you hear from the Belgians again that their studies have been proven. This study was likely a waste of time and effort by smart people that could have been doing something productive.

Adam Eisenhart PhD is a former fitness trainer for high level corporate wellness programs in the southeastern US. He is currently working with http://www.DirtyDieting.com on an upcoming book about Interval Training for fat loss. Copyright © Adam Eisenhardt 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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