Science

Less or More? The ‘Salt’ Fight Still Continues

By Enozia Vakil , May 17, 2013 08:17 AM EDT

While numerous research have already confirmed the fact that too much salt could be harmful to health, particularly to those suffering from high blood pressure, a new report is all set to prove it wrong.

A new study from the Institute of Medicine claims that too little salt may be injurious to the health of an individual. The health mantra that Americans need to keep their salt intake as low as possible- around 2,300 mg a day, has been making rounds since quite some time, and this new study may prove this to be one big mistake.

 "The net conclusion is that people who are eating too much sodium should lower their sodium, but it is possible that if you lower it too much you may do harm," Brian Strom, dean and professor of public health at the University of Pennsylvania and the committee chairman for this report, speaks up in defense.

The panel of researchers from the Institute of Medicine carefully monitored the studies on salt since 2005 and found out that there's enough evidence to support the harmful effects of excessive consumption of salt on the health, however, there's rarely any data regarding its benefits.

"As you go below the 2,300 mark, there is an absence of data in terms of benefit and there begin to be suggestions in subgroup populations about potential harms," Storm explains.

Furthermore, a study published in the year 2011 put forth the idea that too much or too little salt hardly affects an individual's risk of suffering from diseases like heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure and others that were earlier believed to be a result of overconsumption of salt.

This study analyzed 28,800 subjects with high blood pressure for over 4 years, and found that the subjects were at a greater risk of suffering from heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases, irrespective of whether they consumed less salt, or more.

"It would be a shame if this report convinced people that salt doesn't matter," Bonnie Leibman, director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest claims.

It's time now for the researchers to collaborate and work on clearing out this controversy.

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