This past summer, DrRich wrote a post on the utter arrogance of the public health experts who are urging the FDA – and international bodies of busybodies – to mandate a policy of strict sodium restriction across the globe.
DrRich attempted to show how such a broad-based salt restriction at this juncture is ill-advised for three reasons. First, the conclusion that a population-wide salt restriction would actually do any good is not based on any actual prospective studies, but on a contrived extrapolation of observational data. Second, there is some evidence that a salt restriction would be harmful to at least a substantial minority of people, even if the overall effect on the population turns out to be positive. And third, there is good reason to believe that the degree of sodium restriction which is being recommended by the public health experts is below the level which is dictated by human physiology.
Perhaps salt restriction for the entire population will turn out to be a good idea. But perhaps not. So in his previous post, DrRich was advocating a prospective, randomized controlled trial to test this proposition before just going ahead and inflicting it upon hundreds of millions of Americans.
And now, as it happens, in recent weeks new studies have been published which question the safety of salt restriction for the whole population. In fact, five studies have been published just this year suggesting that salt restriction might be unsafe.
The latest, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that when you compare cardiovascular events (such as heart attack and stroke) to sodium intake, the incidence of those events follows a “J” curve. That is, cardiovascular events are lowest at an “optimal” level of sodium intake. But if sodium intake goes above that optimal level – or if it goes below it – the incidence of cardiovascular events increases. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*