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National guidelines for salt intake questioned


The debate on national nutrition policies is heating up as two federal panels begin work on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. At the center of the latest controversy is the public's consumption of salty foods.

A recent report found cases of high blood pressure would fall by 11 million and U.S. health care costs would drop by $18 billion a year if Americans complied with federal guidelines on sodium intake, a mere 1 teaspoon daily from all sources.

But new evidence has surfaced indicating humans may naturally regulate salt intake and challenging the relevance of regulatory or legislative intervention to limit Americans' salt intake.

Lead study author David McCarron, MD, expressed concern over efforts to further lower Americans’ sodium intake saying:

If sodium intake is physiologically determined, then our national nutrition guidelines and policies must reflect that reality. To do otherwise will expend valuable national and personal resources against unachievable goals.

Photo by kevindooley

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