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Use salt?: We thought you needed to do more, to be a denialist


File:A small cup of coffee.JPG Salt deniers. Who knew?

From Science Daily:

In the debate over salt’s health effects, scientists have effectively split into two camps and are talking past each other, according to a new study.

… you might’ve started hearing some skepticism recently about whether salt is really that bad for you.

The critics say health recommendations for cutting salt intake in half are lacking solid evidence.

“Either it’s useless, which means it’s an expensive strategy, or it could well be harmful, which is worse,” cardiovascular disease expert Salim Yusuf told the European Heart Journal.

There’s been a sharp response from salt-averse health organizations like the American Heart Association, which says sodium skeptics rely on flawed data and poorly-designed studies. The AHA recommends a very low intake of salt, although one critic of that very recommendation is a former AHA president.

<em>Salt</em> pig
salt pig/Charlotte Storrs

To the average person, the salt debate is confusing, and judging by the new study, it’s going to last a while. The researchers looked at academic reports over the past 35 years and found just over half support the idea that we should cut back on salt, around a third don’t support that idea and the rest are inconclusive.

What’s more, the scientists have basically split into two camps and stopped talking to each other. One researcher at Columbia University said: “There are two almost distinct bodies of scholarship. … Each is driven by a few prolific authors who tend to cite other researchers who share their point of view.” More.

Paper. (Public access) From abstract:

We documented a strong polarization of scientific reports on the link between sodium intake and health outcomes, and a pattern of uncertainty in systematic reviews about what should count as evidence.

See also: Science journalist fed up with “nutrition science”

Nutritionist admits in The Scientist: Much nutrition research is “fatally flawed,” “willfully fraudulent” pseudoscience

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What about if a person has hyponatremia ? Dionisio

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