Thursday October 18, 2018

Salt Not as Damaging to Health as Previously Thought, Says Study

Most previous studies on sodium intake had shown that heart disease and stroke were based on individual-level information

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Moderate salt intake not as bad as earlier thought: Study. Pixabay
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People with moderate or average salt intake need not reduce their sodium intake for prevention of heart disease and stroke, suggests a new study involving 94,000 people from different parts of the world, including India.

For a vast majority of individuals, sodium consumption does not increase heart risks, except for those who eat more than five grams a day, the equivalent of 2.5 teaspoons of salt, showed the findings published in the journal The Lancet.

Even those who consume a little more than five grams of salt a day, need not worry a lot as the study said that any health risk of sodium intake is virtually eliminated if people improve their diet quality by adding fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, potatoes, and other potassium rich foods.

“The World Health Organization recommends consumption of less than two grams of sodium — that’s one teaspoon of salt — a day as a preventative measure against cardiovascular disease, but there is little evidence in terms of improved health outcomes that individuals ever achieve at such a low level,” said first author of the study Andrew Mente from Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

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Very low salt intake may be as bad as high levels, international study claims. Pixabay

The researchers followed 94,000 people, aged 35 to 70, for an average of eight years in communities from 18 countries around the world and found there was an associated risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes only where the average intake was greater than five grams of sodium a day.

China is the only country in the study where 80 per cent of communities have a sodium intake of more than five grams a day.

Also Read: Salty Diet Reduces Thirst, Increases Hunger

In the other countries, the majority of the communities had an average sodium consumption of 3 to 5 grams a day (equivalent to 1.5 to 2.5 teaspoons of salt).

Most previous studies on sodium intake had shown that heart disease and stroke were based on individual-level information, said study co-author Martin O’Donnell, Associate Professor at McMaster. (IANS)

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WHO Calls Emergency Meeting On Congo’s Ebola

Congo's health ministry says there are now 179 confirmed cases, including 104 deaths.

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Ebola, WHO
In this photo taken Sept 9, 2018, a health worker sprays disinfectant on his colleague after working at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, DRC. VOA

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is convening a meeting on Wednesday to determine whether Congo’s latest Ebola outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

Aid organizations have expressed alarm as the rate of new cases has more than doubled this month and community resistance to Ebola containment efforts in some cases has turned violent.

Ebola, UNICEF. congo, DNA, WHO
Photo taken Sept 9, 2018, shows health workers walking with a boy suspected of having the Ebola virus at an Ebola treatment centre in Beni, Eastern Congo. VOA

This is Congo’s tenth Ebola outbreak but this is the first time the deadly virus has appeared in the far northeast, an area of active rebel attacks that health workers have compared to a war zone.

WHO recently said the risk of regional spread was “very high” as confirmed cases were reported close to the heavily traveled border with Uganda.

Also Read: Video- Congo Gets New Medical Tools To Contain Ebola

Congo’s health ministry says there are now 179 confirmed cases, including 104 deaths. (VOA)