This research is interesting because it measured sodium and potassium excretion and examined the association between major cardiovascular events and death(O’Donnell M et al. 2014). Urine samples from 101,945 persons in 17 countries were included in the study with a follow up time of an average 3.7 years. The average estimated sodium excretion was 4.93 g per day and the potassium was 2.12 g per day.
So how does this relate to sodium intake?
Based on the urinary excretion, an estimated sodium intake between 3 g per day and 6 g per day was associated with a lower risk of death and cardiovascular events than was either a higher or a lower intake.
Higher potassium excretion was also associated with lower risks.
These findings are higher than what’s been recommended for sodium intake in the U.S.. The recommendations in the U.S. are now being questioned by many.
We don’t need the same amount of salt all the time. Why is that?
When it is hot and we perspire more, or when we exercise and perspire more, we lose more salt which needs to be replaced. On days like that, we need to eat more salt. One of the reasons why runners sometimes get cramps is because of a high salt loss and not enough salt intake to compensate.
The reviewed research is interesting because it looked at salt intake and mortality related to all cause mortality and cardiovascular disease events(Graudal N,et al. 2014). Looking at data from 25 studies it was found that both low salt intake and high salt intake are associated with increased mortality.
This makes sense. Before you cut out all salt, make an assessment of how much you perspire and take into consideration what your blood pressure is.
If your blood pressure is high and your ankles are swollen, obviously you may need to reduce your salt intake. On the other hand if you perspire a lot because you exercise and your blood pressure is normal, you probably don’t need to reduce your salt intake.