For Immediate Release: March 6, 2018
Jorge Amselle, Jorge@saltinstitute.org
Naples, FL—On March 7, 2018 (8:00 AM Eastern) the National Academy Of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will host a full day “Public Workshop for the Committee to Review the Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium.” These efforts are set to help guide the development of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
“Previous committees, such as the FDA’s Dietary Guidelines Committee, have unfortunately limited the input of researchers whose research calls into question population-wide sodium reduction efforts. We hope that this does not continue to be the case,” said Lori Roman, President of the Salt Institute. In fact, three Cochrane Collaboration reviews concluded that there is insufficient evidence to warrant population-wide salt reduction. The FDA also ignored their own CDC-sponsored 2013 Institute of Medicine report that specifically did not support population-wide sodium reduction.
Contrary to the government’s current recommendations of a maximum of 2,300 mg/day of sodium, evidence indicates people on low sodium diets may place themselves at risk. Peer-reviewed research has shown that low-salt diets can lead to insulin resistance, congestive heart failure, cardiovascular events, iodine deficiency, loss of cognition, low birth weights, and higher rates of death. Studies show that these side effects can begin to occur at sodium levels below 3,000 mg/day. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22110105
Dr. Michael Alderman, editor of the American Journal of Hypertension and former President of the American Society of Hypertension, has repeatedly cited his concern that a population-wide sodium reduction campaign could have unintended consequences. “They want to do an experiment on a whole population without a good control,” Alderman says.
The government’s daily sodium recommendations are unheard of in any country in the world. The Guidelines of 2,300 mg/day of sodium are drastically lower than the world average of 3,600 mg/day. A review of almost 23 studies that included 275,683 people shows the normal range of consumption is 2,645 to 4,945 mg/day. https://academic.oup.com/ajh/article/27/9/1138/147390. This is constant regardless of where people get their food, either from home cooked meals or prepackaged meals and restaurants.
The latest evidence demonstrates that there is a healthy “range” of salt consumption that results in a lower risk. A 2014 study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, tested sodium consumption in more than 100,000 people in 18 countries. The study found that the healthy range for sodium consumption was between 3,000 and 5,000 mg per day. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1311989. Americans consume about 3,400 mg sodium on average – at the lower end of this healthy range.
“We will certainly be monitoring any recommendations by the Board and will continue to demand fair consideration of new research and participation by doctors, scientists, and academics who question current one-size-fits-all population wide sodium reduction efforts,” said Roman.
The Salt Institute is a North American based non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing the many benefits of salt, particularly to ensure winter roadway safety, quality water and healthy nutrition.