Has your doctor always told you that a low sodium diet will help keep your heart healthy? You may have to take that advice with a grain of salt. Gina Kolata at The New York Times reports:
A new study found that low-salt diets increase the risk of death from heart attacks and strokes and do not prevent high blood pressure, but the research’s limitations mean the debate over the effects of salt in the diet is far from over.
In fact, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention felt so strongly that the study was flawed that they criticized it in an interview, something they normally do not do.
Dr. Peter Briss, a medical director at the centers, said that the study was small; that its subjects were relatively young, with an average age of 40 at the start; and that with few cardiovascular events, it was hard to draw conclusions. And the study, Dr. Briss and others say, flies in the face of a body of evidence indicating that higher sodium consumption can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
[Continues at The New York Times]