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From: Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN (
Subject:         Re: a question about sodium
Date: September 5, 2007 at 11:11 am PST

In Reply to: a question about sodium posted by erin2 on September 5, 2007 at 8:08 am:

In February of 2004 the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released the new “Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate”. The report list hypertension, cardiovascular and kidney diseases as the major adverse effects of a toxic or excessive salt (sodium) intake. The report also notes evidence linking excess salt intake (as in the American diet) to atrophic gastritis and stomach cancer and increased calcium loss in the urine, which contributes to kidney stone formation and osteoporosis. In addition it has also been linked to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

Also, while I dont know the your personal details or specifics, people who dont have existing hypertension shouldnt feel "safe" from eventually getting it, if they continute a high salt diet. Currently about 90% of Americans can expect to be diagnosed with hypertension during their lifetime.

More recently, data from the long running Framingham Heart Study determined the residual lifetime risk of developing HTN in men and women who were free of HTN at age 55y or 65y. The risk of developing HTN continues to increase with age even into the 8th and 9th decades. About 70% of women age 65-75y have developed HTN, and by age 65 almost 80% of african american women have HTN. It is now clear that 90% of people age 55y or 65y without HTN will likely develop it within the next 20-25 years. The residual lifetime risk of developing HTN even for those who make it to the age of 55y or even 65y with BP still in the “normal” range is about 90%.

There are several factors involved in the regulation of blood pressure and potassium (and calcium and magnesium) is another one. But, having a higher potassium intake doesn't cancel out a high salt intake.

Hope that helps
In Health

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