New Research: What Sodium Intake Levels are Healthy?

by Justin Q Taylor



report by the National Academies’ “Committee on the Consequences of Sodium Reduction in Populations” has found that evidence supports a daily diet which limits daily sodium intake to 2300 mg. Surprisingly, they did not find sufficient evidence to support still lower sodium diets, even in populations at risk for heart disease. In fact, there is some (inconclusive) evidence that low sodium diets may be harmful to those with diabetes, kidney failure, or heart disease

The current US guidelines for sodium intake give an adequate Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) of 1500 mg and an Upper Limit (UL) of 2300 mg, but adult intake levels in the United States average 3400 mg. There is a growing call for increased public health measures to keep America’s runaway sodium intake levels down. 

The focus of the study is on sodium’s direct effect on health outcomes rather than on intermediate biomarkers such as blood pressure, which are a more controversial measure of health impact. The committee refrained from making any direct recommendations of intake ranges due to a lack of data.

Readers, what can we do to prevent the high sodium intake which is the norm in American diets? Have you been recommending low sodium diets to patients?

Read the whole report here.