Salt & Our Health


Recommended Salt Reduction Guidelines Need Sound Science

Earlier in the week, we reported on how the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report analysing research that has been published over a 10year period on sodium consumption and its impact on health.

The report, which looked at research from 2003 until 2013, concluded that there was a lack of sufficient evidence to determine whether lowering your sodium intake below 2,300mg can increase or decrease your risk of heart disease, stroke or death.

And now, the American Bakers Association (ABA) has spoken out about the report agreeing that there is not enough conclusive evidence: “determining sodium reduction levels must be backed with sound evidence and the latest IOM report highlights clear gaps in such literature.”

Loaf of BreadAs we touched upon in the previous post there isn’t enough high-quality research to make the claim that lowering your salt intake results in a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke or death. What we need now is more research investigating the health implications of low salt diets.

Lee Sanders, Senior Vice President for the ABA supports our view saying: “Clearly IOM recognised that there are gaps and that more research is needed regarding health implications of sodium levels that are too low. ABA is supportive of the IOM panel’s conclusion that currently there is not scientific evidence to support a reduction below 2,300mg/day for the general population.”

Sanders concluded that current government guidelines should be called into question and revisited “to make certain that the requirements are following grounded science based recommendations.”

And, we couldn’t agree more. We believe that the current government salt consumption reduction strategy is both misleading and dangerous because the Department for Health base their salt consumption guidelines on research that is inadequate and outdated. Until there is new, sufficient evidence with a degree of certainty showing that cutting salt intake reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes or death in people with normal to high blood pressure, the government is in no position to publish such recommendations.

Comments are closed.