A low-sodium diet study claiming eating too little quantities of salt is linked to high chances of heart attack and dying, has been strongly criticized.
The low-sodium study recently published in the Lancet medical journal was carried out by the Population Health Research Institute in Canada and conducted on 130,000 subjects from 49 countries.
The research concluded that the governmental salt reducing guidelines from across the world should be changed to moderate intake suggestions. They determined a diet of continuous low salt reduction might lead to aggravating cardiovascular risk or death compared to foods containing regular amounts of sodium.
Small, medium and high levels of sodium intake were compared. Both low-sodium and high-sodium diets were associated with high blood pressure, death or a serious cardiovascular problem.
However, the head of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Centre for Nutrition, Professor Francesco Cappuccio criticized both the study’s methods and the scientific journal that has agreed to publish it.
Cappuccio says the study is based on republished data that doesn’t take into account the previous study’s limitations and directions and maintained or ignored its criticism.
For example, the investigation used a single sample of urine taken in the morning and inadequately extrapolated the result to 24 hours. Also, the majority of the research’s participants came from clinical trials where people already had very high risks of dying.
The professor, surprised by the editors for publishing the research, deemed the study invalid for using larger samples and continuing with the same flaws; the authors, said the professor, could only make “bigger errors” by making such a comparison.
The method used in the study is also heavily criticized because the urine intake varies a lot from one day to another. Therefore, even a 24-hour sample couldn’t account for an individual’s median intake; a seven or eleven day’s measurements would have painted a better picture for sodium intake.
The authors didn’t even raise the question whether or not people were dying from eating too little, therefore also reducing the salt quantities.
Agreeing with the “valid measure” of the urine test, The Lancet published a commentary saying “It should come as no surprise that a lowsalt-for-all policy would benefit some and disadvantage others.”
Lead author of the study, Professor Andrew Mente says we should just follow an “overall healthy diet” and not worry about low-sodium diets, just “minimize processed foods,” exercise and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
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