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Low salt diets may not reduce heart attack risk

Adopting a low-salt diet may not reduce the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, a study has indicated.

A review of seven studies found that cutting down on salt led to a “small reduction” in blood pressure after six months - but the research failed to show any impact on rates of death or cardiovascular disease.

The study, published in The Cochrane Library, analysed data from 6,489 participants who had moderately reduced their salt intake.

Despite their findings, the researchers said consuming less salt could still be beneficial to the health of people with both normal and high blood pressure.

Study leader Professor Rod Taylor, from the University of Exeter, said: “We believe that we didn’t see big benefits in this study because the people in the trials we analysed only reduced their salt intake by a moderate amount, so the effect on blood pressure and heart disease was not large.”

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Readers' comments (3)

  • good, just enjoyed a bag of chips with sea salt necessary for iodine intake too in mountainous countries!

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  • Great I Cant eat tomatoes without Salt andI do enjoy the odd smoked bacon

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  • You can tell that this study was set up for the scientists to cherry pick the hell out of it from the very beginning. All the test subjects were white, in their 40s, and had no history of cardiovascular disease or any serious medical conditions for that matter. I even read somewhere that half of the 50 that died on the low salt diet were heavy smokers anyway... something that the test neglected to disclose in the study. As for the hypothesis that a low salt diet can be deadly though, I think they're completely right. The medical field has been recognizing the danger of low salt diets for years now, and even the fitness industry realizes how bad it can be. Most fitness sites like http://www.flexmini.com even have disclaimers on their front page warning about exercising while on a low salt diet...

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