Sodium Intake Recommendations: A Subject that Needs to be Reconsidered

Author(s): Patricio Lopez-Jaramillo, Jose Lopez-Lopez, Cristina Lopez-Lopez

Journal Name: Current Hypertension Reviews

Volume 11 , Issue 1 , 2015

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Graphical Abstract:


Hypertension affects 1 billion people worldwide and is considered the leading cause of death, stroke, myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure. Sodium intake is reported to be a modifiable determinant of hypertension and reductions in its consumption have been widely recommended. Various strategies have been proposed to address the observed epidemic of cardiovascular diseases, particularly in medium and low-income countries. Among these strategies, reducing dietary sodium intake and increasing dietary potassium intake are commonly included in guidelines for the treatment of hypertension and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. In the present article, we review the results of recent studies that have raised questions about potential adverse effects associated with low sodium intake on important health outcomes, including cardiovascular diseases and death. It is clear from these studies, that there are contradictory and irreconcilable positions in the interpretation of the evidence, a situation that indicates that there is an urgent need for international randomized controlled trials that consistently demonstrate that the low levels of sodium intake recommended in the guidelines are safe and beneficial for different populations around the world. In the interim, and in accordance with a number of experts, we agree that the current evidence argues against the reduction of dietary sodium as an isolated public health recommendation and that an alternative approach of recommending high quality, potassium rich diets, might achieve greater health benefits, including blood-pressure reduction, than aggressive sodium reduction alone.

Keywords: Blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, potassium intake, sodium intake recommendations, urinary sodium excretion.

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Article Details

Year: 2015
Page: [8 - 13]
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.2174/1573402111666150530204311

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PDF: 66