For Immediate Release: June 19, 2018
Jorge Amselle: Jorge@saltinstitute.org
Park City, Utah—When salt levels in the body drop to a very low level, (severe hyponatremia), the results are life-threatening, possibly leading to brain cell swelling, announced Mort Satin, Vice President for Science and Research at The Salt Institute. At the 2018 World Salt Symposium held today, Satin highlighted another significant risk factor, mild hyponatremia and why this condition is often not diagnosed. Senior citizens are especially at risk because it is a leading cause of death for the elderly and contributing factor to a decreased quality of life.
“Unfortunately, there is a widespread practice of low-sodium diets in assisted living facilities,” said Satin, a molecular biologist and former United Nations executive. “An extended period of low-sodium diets inevitably leads to chronic, mostly asymptomatic, hyponatremia. However, asymptomatic hyponatremia is a misnomer, presenting symptoms such as gait disorders, decreased reflex time, mimicking the effects of alcoholic excess, increased risk of bone fractures in ambulatory patients and loss of cognition,” he added.
Dr. Michael Alderman, editor of the American Journal of Hypertension added, “Sodium consumption around the globe has a mean of about 3,600mg/day, and a range from 2,600 – 5,000mg/day. This mid-range describes about 90 percent of the world’s population. More than 30 studies, with more than 400,000 participants, have established a “U” or “J” shaped association of sodium intake to all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Optimal survival is realized by those whose intake is between 2,800 and 5,000mg/day. Specifically, there is no evidence of a superior health outcome at intakes less than 2,000mg/day compared with those in the usual range.”
“Diet management practices for the elderly should only include low-salt diets if there is a specific reason for it (such as salt sensitivity) and should require a recommendation from the patient’s physician,” cautioned Satin.
The World Salt Symposium has been held periodically since 1962 and represents an international gathering of salt producers, researchers, journalists, business leaders and academics from all regions of the globe. It is the most comprehensive and important meeting on the subject of salt. The 2018 10th World Salt Symposium is being hosted by the Salt Institute. Learn more at www.worldsaltsymposium.org
The Salt Institute is a North American based non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing the many benefits of salt, particularly to ensure winter roadway safety, quality water and healthy nutrition.