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The Cochrane Collaboration - Reduced dietary salt for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (review)

30 November 2011

The Cochrane Collaboration released it's review on 'reduced dietary salt for the prevention of cardiovascular disease'. The review set out to assess whether advice to cut down on salt in foods altered our risk of death or cardiovascular disease. The review found that intensive support and encouragement to reduce salt intake did lead to a reduction in salt eaten and a small reduction in blood pressure after more than six months. The review reported that there was not enough information to understand the effect of these changes in salt intake on death or CVD.

Professor Rod Taylor, the lead researcher of the review, is 'completely dismayed' at the headlines that distort the message of his research published today. Having spoken to BBC Scotland, and to CASH, he clarified that the review looked at studies where people were advised to reduce salt intake compared to those who were not and found no differences, this is not because reduced salt doesn’t have an effect but because it’s hard to reduce salt intake for a long time. He stated that people should continue to strive to reduce their salt intake to reduce their blood pressure, but that dietary advice alone is not enough, calling for further government and industry action.

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