Submitted by Charles Knighton
“A few years ago, the National Commission for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases created a strategic plan to combat CNCDs in this country. Their initial focus was on this country’s salt intake and how to reduce it…”
Janelle Riley-Thornhill, “Towards a healthy nation” July 31 Advocate
Except for the youngest amongst us, I am certain we all can remember edicts coming from the medical/scientific establishment about what was either good for us or bad for us, only to later learn such advice was not factually warranted. If as individuals we were permitted to heed this advice or not, I would have no problem with their pronouncements. But the nanny-state takes such edicts seriously, going so far as to create commissions whose mandate is essentially to coerce the public into compliance. If such advice later turns out to be erroneous or worse yet, harmful, oh, well, it was well intended.
Such “experts” have long blamed excessive salt in our diet for rising rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and kidney disorders. But too little salt can be a bad thing, too, as lowering sodium intake too much may actually increase a person’s risk of some health problems, says a new Institute of Medicine report.
The American Heart Association recommends 1,500 milligrams or less of salt per day, but the new report found that reducing sodium intake below 2,300 milligrams a day may backfire. In one recent study of patients hospitalized for congestive heart failure, those who consumed 1,800 milligrams of sodium daily were twice as likely to die during the study period as patients who took in 2,700. Another study found that the risk of heart attack and stroke among people with high blood pressure was higher if they ingested less than 3,000 milligrams of salt per day. Low sodium levels seem to increase insulin resistance and stress the heart in other ways.
“Until now it was all about blood pressure,” says Albert Einstein College of Medicine researcher Michael H. Alderman. “Now we know it is much more complicated.” Doesn’t that ALWAYS seem to be the case?