A report made public on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 suggests a warning to individuals who frequently reach for their salt shakers: beware because less sodium is all the better for your long term health. Results of the study, conducted by a teams from Harvard University's School of Public Health, UC San Francisco, and Canada's Simon Fraser University, were made public in the American Heart Association's Hypertension Journal and claims that more than 500,000 Americans could prevent a premature death by reducing their sodium intake to less than 2,200 milligrams per day.
The team was lead by UCSF mathematician Pam Coxson who offered: "No matter how we look at it, the story is the same - there will be huge benefits to reducing sodium."
The study was based upon international data over the time span of one decade and found a direct link between higher salt consumption and higher than average blood pressure as people age. They also found that individuals who consumed less than 1,300 milligrams of sodium per day had lower than average blood pressure despite their age. The group projected that a 40% reduction in sodium over a ten year span would reduce the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease by as many as 850,000 to 1.2 million people.
The study also found that Americans who consume processed foods (like cereal, bread, and soups) take in hidden amounts of sodium take in a minimum of 3,600 milligrams of sodium on a daily basis - a number far greater than what many doctors consider safe.
Public health officials, food industry experts, and members of the medical community have urged food manufactures to significantly reduce the sodium content within processed foods to improve health and cardiovascular function.
The official report will be available on February 13, 2013 in Hypertension. In the meantime, for more go here.