Public Health

Health Institute Questions Recommendations on Salt Intake

Doesn't think demands to consume less are supported by science

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An unusual medical brawl erupted on Tuesday when the influential Institute of Medicine issued a report questioning the basis of years of advice for Americans to cut their salt intake in half.

The Institute, which advises the federal government on medical issues, concluded that the studies have answered the question poorly.  A panel of experts looked at studies showing the medical effects of eating too much salt, as well as at studies that have been used to suggest that some people may suffer form eating too little salt.

Its finding: There's enough evidence to support advising Americans to keep sodium to 2,300 milligrams a day or less, but there's not enough to support the current, lower target of 1,500 milligrams a day.