Monday April 22, 2019

Iodised Salt Not Necessarily be Good for Health: Study

More importantly, non-iodised salt must also be made available in the market, which has been missing from the shelves for past two decades and more

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Experts: Regulating Salt Intake Key to Prevent Hypertension

By Brij Khandelwal

While universal iodisation of salt helped control iodine deficiency disorders, it could be increasing the risk of high blood pressure — a leading cause of heart ailments — especially in the elderly, says retired Col Rajesh Chauhan, in his latest book.

The book, titled “Could universal iodisation of salt be the chief cause of hypertension assuming epidemic proportion?”, has been published by Lap Lambert Berlin, Germany.

The book is based on a recent study on nearly 100 elderly patients in Agra, UP.

The study included patients who were consuming iodised salt regularly, and were compared with another group who were not using iodised salt but pebble salt, which is also iodised but the iodine content gets washed off, thereby minimising or avoiding iodine in the salt.

“The results indicated the people consuming iodised salt were more at risk of suffering high blood pressure than the ones who were using pebble salt, washed before use,” Chauhan told IANS.

Excess consumption of iodine can also cause various forms of rhythm disturbances in heart, and lead to precipitating angina and heart failure.

To control iodine deficiency disorders around the world, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a statement in August 1994 stressed universal salt iodisation as the principal public health measure for eliminating Iodine Deficient Disorders.

Salt absorbs negative energy: Vastu tips
Salt. Pixabay

Since 1992, India has been using iodised salt, irrespective of the fact whether the region is actually deficient of iodine or not.

While iodine deficiency in children can raise a condition called cretinism, usually characterised with laziness, crying, pot belly, and low intellect; excess iodine intake as a result of universal salt iodisation could be causing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, the findings showed.

Though the WHO stated “monitoring of sodium (salt) intake and iodine intake at country level is needed to adjust salt iodisation over time”, India failed to monitor it, Chauhan said.

“In my book, and from the references that I have used therein taken from the domain of the British Medical Journal, we have raised the possibility of a global rise in the incidence and prevalence of hypertension, possibly due to regular consumption of iodised salt,” he noted.

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He stressed the need for more research, which must include the overarching necessity of continuing with enforcing consumption of iodised salt even in regions that are not deficient in iodine.

Immediate corrective steps are needed at national and global levels, and supplemental iodine is to be used only in areas that are deficient in iodine.

More importantly, non-iodised salt must also be made available in the market, which has been missing from the shelves for past two decades and more, Chauhan suggested. (IANS)

Next Story

Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known. 

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The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality. Pixabay

Expecting mothers, take note. As smoking during pregnancy is linked with negative health outcomes, a team of researchers has found that smoking cessation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of pre-term birth.

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy.

baby
If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation. Pixabay

“Of concern, though, given the substantial benefits of smoking cessation during pregnancy is that the proportion of pre-pregnancy smokers who quit smoking during pregnancy has remained essentially stagnant since 2011,” said lead author Samir Soneji from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the US.

For the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of more than 25 million pregnant women who gave birth to live neonates during a six-year period — measuring their smoking frequency three months prior to pregnancy and for each trimester during pregnancy.

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known.

But the good news is that the proportion of women who start their pregnancy as smokers has been declining in recent years, the researchers said.

smoking

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, the study also found that only about 25 per cent of women who smoked prior to pregnancy were able to quit throughout their pregnancy, and approximately 50 per cent of women who smoked during their pregnancy did so with high frequency (more than 10 cigarettes per day).

The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality.

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“Thankfully most premature babies end up doing well,” he said.

“But premature birth is strongly linked to infant mortality. If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation,” he added. (IANS)