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Does eating less salt lead to heart disease? New JAMA study is more wishful thinking than a diet changer

May 4, 2011
  • By Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

About the Author

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Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Pat Skerrett is the editor of STAT's First Opinion and host of the First Opinion podcast. He is the former editor of the Harvard Health blog and former Executive Editor of Harvard Health Publishing. Before that, he was editor of … See Full Bio
View all posts by Patrick J. Skerrett


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Evert Hartman
January 5, 2012

Salt much salt is not good for people.
Salt is good for the road.

Richard Moss
November 22, 2011

This is a cautionary tale about accepting research results before actually checking the procedure that was used to produce those results. I have to admit, though, it leaves me wondering who is right.

Richard Moss, Editor, PE

Bailim Denis
October 24, 2011

I came across this after my grand ma died when she was told to be on low salt diet and this never satisfied after what i read about the salt intake in other individual, however my second concern is about hernia. How does it comes about? and could it be that the tendency of scrotum pulling and lower abdominal pain associated with gross ill health?

Carole Book
July 13, 2011

Interesting to stumble over this post because my mum had been told to reduce her salt intake due to high cholestrol, she was then tested a few months later and told that her salt levels were really low and she needed to start taking more!

Gordon Barnes
August 2, 2011

Hi Carol depends on your source of Salt . The processed salt you buy from the supermarket is “INERT” I call this rubbish salt. However, the Sodium Chloride in Himalayan sea salt is “unprocessed “, besides being balanced with Potassium, it is in a highly charged state and like things in a highly charged state, it is not static or Inert. It will not store itself in your organs or affect your kidneys, but pass on through you as natural salts are meant to do. The Romans used to pay their employees in natural salt as it was highly prized health giving product.

We are told to avoid salt by uniformed doctors when we have heart disease. Again, years of processed salt builds up in organs (and in the heart) and you’re ripe for edema (the collection of fluids). The only person who has to watch her/his salt intake is the person with a high degree of renin in her/his blood stream.

July 12, 2011

I would be more interested in the results of your suggested trial than edging on the side of the JAMA study. The JAMA report does nothing to inspire my ‘mind’ or push me towards eating a ‘normal’ amount of salt, as opposed to my usual low sodium diet.

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