The Population Risks of Dietary Salt Excess Are Exaggerated
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Policy positions on salt consumption (based largely on the association of sodium and blood pressure [BP]) has remained unchanged since the 1970s, until recently. However, this is beginning to change as new evidence emerges. The evidence supports a strong association of sodium with BP and cardiovascular disease events in hypertensive individuals, the elderly, and those who consume > 6 g/d of sodium. However, there is no association of sodium with clinical events at 3 to 6 g/day and a paradoxical higher rate of events at < 3 g/day. Therefore, until new evidence emerges, the optimal range of sodium consumption should be considered to be between 3 and 6 g/d. Population-wide sodium reduction is not justified in countries such as Canada.
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