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Should you give up salt?
22 December 2017
Youthful diet
Should you give up salt?

Everyone knows that sodium chloride, aka table salt, has a serious influence on the processes inside the human body. We recommend getting acquainted with the latest research and analysing its contradictory information and the harm and benefits of salt based on data received from leading medical institutes in the world. Scientists are talking about the possible harm in low-fat and low-sodium diets. They have concluded that moderate sodium content in food can reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and liver disease.

Sodium Level and Cardiovascular Diseases
Dr Michael H. Alderman and his colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Bronx, New York) noted a highly positive effect of sodium on the human body, specifically on the heart. The study examined the relationship between sodium intake, total mortality and mortality from cardiovascular diseases. According to the data, mortality was higher in people with low sodium intake.

11,346 Americans aged 25 to 75 years took part in the study. 25% of those who consumed a significant amount of sodium showed a decrease in total mortality (–18%) and mortality from cardiovascular diseases (–20%).
However, the same study proved that a high share of salt in food (for example, in a low-calorie, low-fat diet), as well as its complete absence, has a negative effect on the human cardiovascular system. Therefore, a moderate amount of salt is advisable to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Laboratory experiments
The data obtained during laboratory experiments on animals confirmed that a diet high in sodium increases life expectancy, while sodium deficiency reduces it.
For example, a four times reduction of sodium leads to premature death in chicks. As sodium is the main mineral in the blood, it helps both animals and people to maintain blood pressure at a normal level, providing oxygen and nutrients to all body parts and tissues. Observation of mice on a high sodium diet (2460 mEg Na: 1.45% Na Cl) showed that chicks have a longer lifespan than mice with medium or low quantities of salt in their diet.

Sodium level and liver disease
According to research, higher serum sodium levels can prolong the life of patients with liver failure.
The high risk of death in patients with liver failure is associated with low sodium levels in the blood. Meanwhile, adding a small amount of salt (sodium) to food can save the lives of said patients.
In patients with cirrhosis of the liver who tested low sodium levels in blood for three consecutive months (below 126 mEq/l), the risk of death increased by 6 to 7 times.
This finding suggests that patients with liver disease should avoid low salt diets.
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