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World Action on Salt. Sugar & Health

Cochrane review shows beneficial effects of long term salt reduction


Graudal et al. Effects of Low-Sodium Diet vs. High-Sodium Diet on Blood Pressure, Renin, Aldosterone, Catecholamines, Cholesterol, and Triglyceride (Cochrane Review) American Journal of Hypertension.

Professor MacGregor, Chairman of WASH/CASH comments:

10 November 2011

Contrary to widespread media coverage, the Cochrane review by Graudal and colleagues published yesterday, shows significant falls in blood pressure with salt reduction and NO SIGNIFICANT INCREASE in cholesterol or LDL cholesterol in those studies which lasted four or more weeks.

Gradual et al fail to point this out and are therefore misleading the public and media in claiming salt reduction might be harmful.

The only studies that showed significant increases in cholesterol were acute and short term studies which are of no relevance to a public health policy of a gradual long term reduction in salt intake.

This study, contrary to the authors’ claims, supports the wealth of evidence that reducing our salt intake will be immensely beneficial in preventing strokes, heart attacks and heart failure, the commonest causes of death and disability in the world. The question is not ‘should’ we reduce salt intake, but ‘how’. The UK’s salt reduction strategy is leading the world, and has been shown to be the most cost-effective current public health policy.

Forr further information, please contact Professor Graham MacGregoron: 020 7882 6217 or 07946 405617,



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