Salt has been the focus at some high profile conferences. Available here are abstracts of some of the papers presented by experts.
The ‘Salt & Health Forum’ was held in Paris in summer 2007. The event was organised by EuSalt, the European association of salt producers, with the objective of reviewing the relationship between salt consumption and health. The list of academics lining up to defend salt at the conference, in May 2007, included four academics who demonstrated that salt is vital for us by each covering a different aspect of its importance. Click on the names below to read abstracts of the lectures.
Dr David A. McCarron (USA) – Importance of Nutrient Intake on Blood Pressure, Salt Sensitivity, and Health Outcomes.
Professor Jens Titze (Germany) – Response of the body to changes in salt intake.
Professor Tilman B. Drüeke (France) – Man needs salt to survive.
Professor Niels Graudal (Denmark) – Effect of salt intake on blood pressure and cardiovascular outcome: critical evaluation of reported trials and meta-analyses.
Lower sodium excretion was associated with higher CVD mortality
Jay Walker, Alastair David MacKenzie, Joel Dunning, Autumn 2007
This study addressed the question of whether restricting dietary salt intake would provide protection from adverse cardiovascular events or mortality. Using the 462 papers, of which 14 were identified as representing the best evidence on the subject, the review concluded that there was no conclusive proof of a link between salt and heart attacks and strokes due to the lack of adequately powered randomised trials or observational studies conducted with sufficient rigour.
AJH Townsend et al
American Journal of Hypertension, Feb 05
An anlaysis of survey data on blood pressure and nutrient intake from more than 20,000 adults in National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys in the US over the past 20 years. The study confirms that it is mineral deficiency rather than sodium intake that is the main influencer in high blood pressure.
Shirreffs SM et al
International Journal of Sports Medicine, April 2005
A team of sports scientists from Loughborough University have measured the sweat rate of professional football players at such clubs as Real Madrid and Manchester United and the amout of sodium and other electrolytes that they lose during training sessions.
27 May 04
This report makes a number of recommendations about how the government, schools and food manufacturers can work together to counter the rising problem of obesity in the UK.
European Journal of Geriatrics, March 2004
This research was led by Professor Fusgen from the Department of Geriatrics at the University of Witten-Herdecke in Germany. The findings include numbers of older people suffering from sub-acute sodium deficiency.
Recommendations about the daily salt intake for adults and (for the first time) children are made in this report.
Food Standards Agency
Various volumes: 2002-2004
This programme of surveys was carried out on a sample of adults and children from the age of four, to gather information about the nutritional status of the British population.
This article explores the scientific basis for calls for population advice on salt reduction.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics
The Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys
1999 – 2004
The first of three surveys carried out by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, known as NHANES 1. Over 20,000 people were enrolled people during the years 1971 to 1975, their serum uric acid levels measured and information taken on their medical history. Their medical records and death certificates were collected over the next 16 years and attention was focused on the total numbers of deaths, as well as those due to heart and blood vessel disease.
Julian Midgley et al
Journal of the American Medical Association
A paper with evidence based on statistical analyses of published human studies concerning the effect of changes in dietary sodium on blood pressure.
Intersalt Cooperative Research Group
British Medical Journal
July 30 1988
Have a look at the abstract of this independent study, carried out at 52 medical centres around the world, which looked at the sodium excretion and blood pressure of more than 10,000 people. The analysis of the data was questioned by many – read responses from Dr James Le Fanu and Richard Hanneman.