The benefits of reduced sodium chloride consumption have long been accepted, but some experts say this should be taken with a grain of, well, salt. Mark Whittaker meets those shaking up accepted medical thought.
Any diabetic with high blood pressure who walks into George Jerums' Melbourne clinic will get the standard advice: if their salt intake is high, they should halve it. This is despite the fact that when Professor Jerums and his former PhD student, Dr Elif Ekinci, studied the salt intake of 638 elderly type-2 diabetics who went through his clinic at Heidelberg's Austin Health, they found that those who ate less salt were significantly more likely to die.
What we found was the people with the lowest sodium intake had the worst cardiovascular outcomes.
After 10 years, it emerged that for every extra 2.3 grams of sodium (equal to about a teaspoon of salt) in their urine over a day, their risk of dying fell by 28 per cent. Even though those who ate more salt tended to be fatter, fewer died from "all causes" and, contrary to what we've been told about the dangers of salt to the heart, fewer died from heart disease and stroke.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/salt-wars-20121126-2a25t.html#ixzz2DxDSpMy9