What is Good for the Goose…

12 05 2011

We have often written and commented in this forum and other venues that what is good for one condition is not always transferable to another. Again, it seems that moderation and common sense in the end bring Science around to what we intuitively seemed to know. But then again, that is perhaps a very viable definition of common sense itself.

Case in point. People with some forms of hypertension respond very well to reductions of sodium, often referred to as “salt” in the public vernacular, with a corresponding decrease in their elevated blood pressure readings. The question then, is a sodium restricted, or “low-salt” diet a better choice for everyone? The conventional medical wisdom would say “Yes.” Common sense would say sodium is a needed essential mineral and if we watch our total consumption (as over 75% of daily sodium intake comes from the pre-packaged, prepared and processed food sources) by employing our Grassroots Gourmet philosophy of Be Fresh and Being Aware (and avoiding the junk food/fast food) we can enjoy perfectly seasoned food without resorting to salt substitutes or permanent residence in the Land of The Bland.

A recent study performed in Europe for the European Project on Genes in Hypertension (EPOGH) Investigators looked at this very question. They looked to see if a reduction in salt intake would reduce the number of cardiovascular events. They looked at over 3500 participants prospectively. They were followed for a median of almost 8 years. The investigators looked at the urinary excretion of sodium as a measure of sodium intake; the more you take in the more you pee out. The highest death rate was those with the lowest excretion of sodium and the lowest death rate in those with the highest sodium excretion. The greatest mortality rate was in those consuming the diet lowest in sodium, or “salt.” Sodium excretion did not predict cardiovascular events, although there was an association between higher sodium intake (as measured by excretion) and an increase of 1.71mm Hg per 100mmol sodium increase on the systolic (top number) of the blood pressure1.

So follow the Path of The Grassroots Gourmet, one of common sense and moderation, and you, too, can achieve Healthy AND Delicious. What is Life, if not a little salty?




1.Katarzyna Stolarz-Skrzypek, MD, PhD; Tatiana Kuznetsova, MD, PhD; Lutgarde Thijs, MSc; Valérie Tikhonoff, MD, PhD;Jitka Seidlerová, MD, PhD; Tom Richart, MD; Yu Jin, MD; Agnieszka Olszanecka, MD, PhD; Sofia Malyutina, MD, PhD; Edoardo Casiglia, MD, PhD;Jan Filipovský, MD, PhD; Kalina Kawecka-Jaszcz, MD, PhD; Yuri Nikitin, MD, PhD; Jan A. Staessen, MD, PhD. Fatal and Nonfatal Outcomes, Incidence of Hypertension, and Blood Pressure Changes in Relation to Urinary Sodium Excretion.JAMA. 2011;305(17):1777-1785




One response

15 05 2011

You crack me up with your permanent residency in the Land of the Bland! No no, I don’t want to reside there ever! I want to live in the land of garlic paste always (garlic and a dash of salt of course) 🙂

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