How does eating too much salt affect health?

Joel H. Fuhrman, MD
Family Medicine
High sodium intake is predictive of increased death from heart attacks. A study of adults with prehypertension showed that over the 10 to 15 years that the individuals lowered their sodium intake by at least 25%, their risk of cardiovascular disease correspondingly fell 25%. The conclusion is that consuming a high amount of sodium will put you at greater risk for heart disease and shortened life. In another study, high sodium intake was predictive of coronary heart disease and mortality from heart attacks, independent of other risk factors, including blood pressure. This means that it is not just about raising blood pressure.

More and more direct evidence is emerging that salt is harmful to the heart in other ways. Salt also causes calcium and other trace minerals to be leached from your body, which is a contributory cause of osteoporosis. As excess salt is removed via the urine, other minerals such as calcium and magnesium accompany it and are lost as well.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.