Cutting down on salt 'not a solution to heart problems'

6th July 2011

Cutting back on salt intake is not a solution to heart problems such as strokes and heart attacks, it has been claimed.

According to research by a team at Exeter University, the benefits of cutting down on salt have been overestimated, with the study claiming that there is no strong evidence that lowering salt intake reduces the risk of heart disease.

Instead, the research team recommended that people focus on other lifestyle factors which can have a greater benefit, such as exercising regularly and eating more fruit and veg.

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

He suggested that people would have to cut down on salt for long periods to see any health benefits.

The study did show that reducing salt intake led to lower blood pressure.

However, the findings have been challenged by other healthcare and research professionals who claim they are inconclusive.

It is recommended that adults eat no more than 6g of salt a day.

Posted by Philip Briggs

1 "Reduced dietary salt for the prevention of cardiovascular disease." Taylor RS, Ashton KE, Moxham T, et al. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011.

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