Eating less salt won’t prevent strokes, heart attacks

July 6th, 2011 - 5:20 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 6 (IANS) There’s bad news for those who have cut back on salt due to health concerns. A study says eating less salt will not stave off heart attacks, strokes or early death.

Research involving nearly 6,500 people concluded that there was “no strong evidence” that lowering levels of salt in the diet reduced the risk of heart disease or premature death.

These findings contradict all official recommendations and medical profession urging the public to reduce the amount of salt they consume, reports the journal Cochrane Review.

In fact, it found that cutting back on salt actually raises the likelihood of death in some patients with heart problems, according to the Daily Mail.

Researchers from Exeter University say that the benefits of cutting back on salt may have been “overestimated”.

They looked at seven published studies involving 6,489 people. Some had high blood pressure, others had normal blood pressure and they had all been put on salt-reduction diets.

But the authors found that there was no evidence that cutting down reduced deaths or heart disease in either group.

And they found that patients with heart failure who cut back on salt were actually at higher risk of death - possibly because the change in diet is such a shock to the body.

Lead researcher Rod Taylor, from Exeter, said: “Perhaps surprisingly, we didn’t find any statistically significant reduction in death or cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.”

–Indo-Asian News service

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