12 January - 20 June 2016

US review examines US dietary guidelines for dietary sodium consumption

22 May 13

A new report by the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) has investigated the link between sodium consumption and health outcomes.  A number of scientific bodies and health organisations in the US support the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which advise reducing daily sodium intake to less than 2300 mg and to further reduce intake to 1500 mg for people aged over 51 years old, African Americans, and people with hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.  High sodium intake has been associated with high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. After reviewing recent studies which examined how sodium consumption affects these health outcomes, the IOM’s expert committee indicate that lowering sodium too much may actually increase a person’s risk of some health problems.  Low sodium intake may adversely affect risk factors, including blood lipids, and insulin resistance which could potentially increase risk of heart disease.  The committee report that although blood pressure is often used as an accepted surrogate marker some findings have shown that the effects of dietary sodium on CVD outcomes sometimes persist even after controlling for blood pressure.  They note therefore that the association between dietary sodium and risk of CVD may be caused by other dietary factors.   However, the review indicates that health outcomes are inconsistent in quality and insufficient in quantity to conclude that lowering sodium intake levels below 2,300 mg/day either increases or decreases the risk of heart disease, stroke, or all-cause mortality in the general U.S. population.   Although research considered collectively indicates a positive association between higher levels of sodium intake and risk of CVD, findings from the review suggest that low sodium intake may lead to risk of adverse health effects among those with mid to late-stage heart failure who are receiving aggressive treatment for their disease.  The review states that studies on health outcomes provide some evidence for adverse health effects of low sodium intake (in ranges approximating 1,500–2,300 mg daily) among those with diabetes, kidney disease, or heart disease.  However it reports that the evidence on both the benefit and harm is not strong enough to indicate that these subgroups should be treated differently from the general U.S. population.  The committee concludes “that the evidence on direct health outcome does not support recommendations to lower sodium intake within these subgroups to or even below, 1,500 mg per day.” The committee list a number of data and method gaps in studies on sodium intake and risk of adverse health outcomes and identify a need for randomised clinical trials and observational and mechanistic studies, particularly in population subgroups. 

RSSL can determine the composition of food and drink products, including the sodium content (UKAS accredited). For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

share this article
RSSL endeavours to check the veracity of news stories cited in this free e-mail bulletin by referring to the primary source, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies in the articles so published. RSSL provides links to other World Wide Web sites as a convenience to users, but cannot be held responsible for the content or availability of these sites. This document may be copied and distributed provided the source is cited as RSSL's Food e-News and the information so distributed is not used for profit.

Previous editions

Load more editions

Make an Enquiry