Salt may be experiencing something of a revival in the field of nutrition. A recent study found that moderate sodium intake correlated with a lower risk of mortality and cardiovascular events when compared to both high and low sodium intake. Now, another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine has come to a very similar conclusion. For the new study, researchers examined data for 2,642 older adults who had filled out food questionnaires as part of a prospective cohort study that began in 1997; the participants were 61.7% white and 38.3% African-American. Here’s what the researchers discovered after tracking the participants for 10 years:
Overall, there was no association between dietary sodium intake and mortality, heart disease, or heart failure.
People consuming 1.5 to 2.3 grams of dietary sodium per day did have a slightly lower mortality risk than people consuming less than 1.5 grams per day or more than 2.3 grams per day, although the difference was not statistically significant.
People consuming more than 2.3 grams of dietary sodium per day had the highest mortality risk.
The results did not change when the researchers adjusted for sex, race, body mass index, or blood pressure status.
However, there are a few limitations to the new research. The study is observational, so it can only show a correlation, not a cause-and-effect relationship between dietary sodium intake, mortality, and cardiovascular health. In addition, the food questionnaire data were based on participant self-reporting, which may not be completely reliable. Finally, the results do not apply to anyone with preexisting heart disease or heart failure.
Source: JAMA Internal Medicine