Hold the Salt

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine projects big benefits to public health that could occur with a small reduction in daily salt intake.

The authors of the study estimate that cutting back on just 3 grams of salt a day per person, could bring a dramatic decrease in serious illness from coronary heart disease (CHD).

Cutting back salt intake by about half a teaspoon a day could reduce:

  • New Cases of Coronary Heart Disease
  • Heart Attacks
  • Strokes
  • Fatalities

The research was conducted by scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); Stanford University, and Columbia University, New York.

The scientists note the significant advantages of reducing salt intake: “All segments of the population would  benefit, with blacks benefiting proportionately more, women benefiting particularly from stroke reduction, older adults from reductions in CHD events, and younger adults from lower mortality rates.” (Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD,et al.)

Holding the salt could also save $10 billion to $24 billion in health care costs annually. This, the study concludes “would be more cost-effective than using medications to lower blood pressure in all persons with hypertension”. (Ibid.)

by Jonathan Galland