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SALT: Too Much of the Stuff can be Harmful to Your Health. Let's see how . . . . . .

saltWe draw information from a Research Review done by Dan Murphy, DC. His article appears in The American Chiropractor, Vol. 32 (5), May, 2010. The original article is cited as:  Bibbins-Domingo K, Chertow G, et. al., "Projected Effect of Dietary Salt Reductions on Future Cardiovascular Disease," The New England J of Med, Jan. 2010.

Key points in this article are as follows:

 1)  "The Dept. of Agriculture and Health and Human Services recommend daily intake of LESS than 5.8g of salt (2300 mg of Sodium), with a lower target of 3.7 g of salt per day for most adults (persons over 40 years of age, blacks and persons with hypertension."

2)  Despite these guidelines, the average man in the U.S. consumes about 10.4 g of salt/day and the average woman 7.3g/day.

3)   The U.S. diet is high in salt, and most of this salt comes from processed foods. "75% - 80% of the salt in the U.S. diet comes from processed foods, not from salt added during food preparation or consumption."

4)   "Despite evidence linking salt intake to hypertension and cardiovascular disease, dietary salt intake in the U.S. is on the rise."

5)   Reducing dietary salt by 3g/day (1200 mg of sodium/day) is projected to reduce the annual number of new cases of the following common ailments:  

        CHD: 60,000 to 120,000 32,000 to 66,000
        Myocardial 54,000 to 99,000
        Annual deaths from
            any 44,000 to 92,000

6)  In reducing salt by 3g/day, "all segments of the population would benefit, with blacks benefiting proportionately more, women benefiting particularly from stroke reduction, older adults from reductions on CHD events and younger adults from lower mortality rates."

7)  Reducing salt intake by 3g/day would save 194,000 to 392,000 quality adjusted life-years and $10B to $24B in health care costs annually.

8)  "Reducing dietary salt lowers blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease."

9)  "All age groups, both sexes, and blacks and non-blacks would be expected to benefit from reductions in salt intake."

10)  "The magnitude of the health benefit suggests that salt should be a regulatory target of the Food and Drug Administration, which currently designates salt as a 'food additive' that is 'generally regarded as safe . . .' "

11)  "Modest reductions in dietary salt would yield substantial health benefits across the U.S. population of adults by lowering rates of cardiovascular events and death and reducing medical costs."

So friends, please, think first before dousing your food with salt. Think about it every single day, on every single dish of food you both cook and consume as well as the food you order.


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