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Norman Sperling
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With a Pinch of Salt

© Norman Sperling, September 10, 2011

Reuters has a new report on the salt controversy that has been simmering for decades.

The conventional wisdom that people in general should reduce their salt intake looks suspicious. Because everyone in my family loves rather a lot of salt, and none of us has high blood pressure, nor related heart disease, I've kept my antennae up for a large, convincing scientific study that showed that people with normal blood pressure need to reduce salt. I never spotted one, so I haven't urged my family to cut back.

The Reuters report even undercuts the high-blood-pressure link: reducing salt to reduce blood pressure may not lengthen life span anyway.

The sides in the Reuters report are way too polarized. The effect is clearly smaller than claimed. A definitive study should be ethical and affordable for our culture. Take the money presently being spent by reduced-salt advocates, plus contributions from the salt industry. Have 3 highest-reputation organizations run a large, impeccable study, and get a trustworthy recommendation for the safest range of salt intake for conventional humans, and those with assorted risks. The same study might update the optimum dose for iodine. Settle the issue with Science, not shouting.

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