Adding salt to your diet is associated with a higher risk of premature death

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Thank you to the European Heart Journal.

A study of more than 500,000 people found that people who add more salt to the table are more likely to die prematurely for any reason. European Heart Journal [1] Today (Monday).

People who regularly add salt to their diet are 28 percent more likely to die prematurely than those who do not. About 3% of the population between the ages of 40 and 69 die prematurely. According to the present study, the risk of salt intake is always high, and one in 100 people may die prematurely.

The study also found that people with lower or lower salt levels had a lower life expectancy than those who did not. At 50, 1.5 years, and 2.28 years, the lives of women and men are cut short, and they always add salt to their diet, compared to what they did not do, or at least occasionally.

The researchers, led by Professor Lu Chi of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans, USA, said there were many public health implications.

“To my knowledge, our study is the first to evaluate the relationship between salt intake and premature death,” he said. “It provides new evidence to support recommendations for improving health and eating habits. Even a slight reduction in sodium intake can add significant or no salt to the table, especially in the general population.

It is very difficult to evaluate the total sodium intake because many foods, especially pre-prepared and prepared foods, add a large amount of salt before they reach the table. Urinary incontinence studies often do not reflect normal behavior because they only take one urine test. In addition, salty foods often follow a diet rich in potassium, such as vegetables and fruits, which is good for us. [2]. Potassium is known to protect against heart disease and metabolic disorders such as diabetes, and sodium increases diseases such as cancer, hypertension and bleeding.

For these reasons, the researchers chose to look at whether or not salt was added to their food at the table, in addition to the added salt during cooking.

“Adding salt to the table is a common dietary behavior, which is directly related to the individual’s long-term choice of salty foods and the usual salt intake,” said Professor Qi. “In the Western diet, adding salt to the table contains 6-20% of the salt and provides a unique way to assess the relationship between normal sodium intake and mortality.”

The researchers analyzed data from 501,379 people involved UK Biobank Study. When participants joined the study between 2006 and 2010, I chose not to return (i) never, (ii) sometimes, (iii) normally, (iv) always, or (v) whether they added salt to their diet. Those who chose not to respond were not included in the analysis. The researchers adjusted their analysis to take into account factors such as age, gender, race, weight, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise, diet, and health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and so on. Cardiovascular diseases. They monitored the participants for an average of nine years. Premature death is defined as death before the age of 75.

Researchers also found that eating salt in large quantities was associated with a higher risk of premature death and lower life expectancy. Vegetables, although these results are not statistically significant.

“We are not surprised by this discovery because fruits and vegetables are the main sources of potassium, which has a protective effect and reduces the risk of premature death,” said Professor Qi.

He added: “Since our study is the first to report the link between salt intake and mortality, further research is needed to confirm the findings before making recommendations.

In the editorial to accompany the paper [3]Anica Rosenren, a senior researcher and professor of medicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gutenberg, Sweden, writes that the effects of high salt intake on individuals at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, who are not involved in the study, are still controversial.

“In light of the various indications that very low sodium intake may not be beneficial or even harmful, it is important to distinguish between individual counseling and actions at the public level,” she wrote.

She says: “The traditional epidemiology of public opinion (with little effect on many people) is more pronounced by targeting high-risk individuals (large results are only available to a few people). . A clear and evidence-based approach to the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease in individuals is the early detection and treatment of high blood pressure. , Requiring treatment and illness. Adding more salt to your diet may not be harmful and may contribute to lowering blood pressure.

The strengths of Professor Qi’s study include many people. It also has some limitations, which include: adding salt to food indicates an unhealthy lifestyle and low socioeconomic status, although analysts try to correct this; There is no information on the amount of salt added; The addition of salt may be related to total energy consumption and consumption of other foods; Participation in the UK Biobank is voluntary so the results are not representative of the general population, so further studies are needed to confirm the findings in other populations.

Professor Qi and his colleagues are conducting further research into the relationship between salt intake and various chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. They also await potential clinical trials to test the effects of salt supplementation on health outcomes.


[1] “Adding salt to food and the risk of premature death”, by Hao Ma et al. European Heart Journal. doi: 10.1093 / eurheartj / ehac208

[2] Typically salty foods, such as tacos, are vegetables, often filled with beans and vegetables.

[3] “Salt – The Sweetest Place?”, By Anica Rosengren. European Heart Journal. doi: 10.1093 / eurheartj / ehac336

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