MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jordi Salas-Salvadó Professor of Nutrition
Human Nutrition Unit Department of Biochemistry & Biotechnology
IISPV School of Medicine.
Rovira i Virgili University CIBERobn, Instituto Carlos III
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Excess sodium intake is associated with high blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended a sodium intake below 2300 mg per day (equivalent to less than 1 teaspoon of salt per day) in the general population. However it is unknown whether decreasing sodium intake below 2300 mg/d has an effect on CVD or all-cause mortality. The recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) explicitly concluded that studies on health outcomes are inconsistent in quality and insufficient in quantity to determine that sodium intake below 2300 mg/d may increase or decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke or all cause of mortality.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: The results of our study are in line with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommending a sodium intake below 2300 mg per day (equivalent to less than 1 teaspoon of salt per day) in the general population. This amount of sodium can be achieved by following a low sodium diet such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). However, no specific advice on salt intake has been stated in the recommendations based on the Mediterranean dietary pattern, that is usually low in sodium because of it richness in fresh and unprocessed food. Thus, sodium intake below 2300 mg/d should also be included in the additional recommendations to follow a healthy diet such as Mediet.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: The present study was conducted in a population of Mediterranean individuals at high cardiovascular risk with high blood pressure, and therefore our findings may not be generalizable to other populations with lower levels of blood pressure. Other observational studies measuring urinary sodium excretion (considered as the gold standard for estimating dietary sodium intake) are warranted in the future exploring this issue in other populations.
Jordi Merino, Marta Guasch-Ferré, Miguel A Martínez-González, Dolores Corella, Ramon Estruch, Montserrat Fitó, Emilio Ros, Fernando Arós, Mònica Bulló, Enrique Gómez-Gracia, Manuel Moñino, José Lapetra, Lluís Serra-Majem, Cristina Razquin, Pilar Buil-Cosiales, José V Sorlí, Miguel A Muñoz, Xavier Pintó, Luis Masana, and Jordi Salas-Salvadó