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Cutting salt might not help heart, study says

salt, salt intake, heart disease
The more salt you consume, the higher your blood pressure rises. One in three American adults has high blood pressure, a major risk factor for stroke, kidney failure, and heart attack. "Steer clear of packaged junk food, read the labels for sodium content, and stick to the outer portions of the supermarket, which is where the fruits, vegetables, and (unsalted) nuts are," Dr. Ostfeld says. Most of us should keep sodium intake below 2,300 milligrams a day. If you have high blood pressure or are over 50, cut back to 1,500 milligrams.More from 10 best foods for your heart istockphoto

(CBS) Salty snackers may have reason to rejoice. A new study suggests cutting back on dietary salt intake won't cut risk of heart disease, contrary to popular belief.

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For the review - published in the July 6th Cochrane Review - British researchers analyzed data from seven studies on nearly 6,500 people on reduced salt diets.  What did they find?

There was "no clear benefit" that cutting back on salt reduced the likelihood of dying from heart disease or having a heart attack. In fact, the researchers said salt reduction actually increased deaths in people with heart failure.

The news was met with mixed reviews from health experts.

"I have always viewed the data for salt shortening life as being very weak," Dr. Ken Fujioka, director of the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Health in San Diego told ABC News.

Other experts may be experiencing a rise in blood pressure themselves.

"This is a completely inappropriate conclusion, given the strong evidence and the overwhelming public health consensus that salt raises blood pressure which leads to cardiovascular disease," Katharine Jenner, spokesperson for British nutrition advocate Consensus Action on Salt and Health, told the Daily Mail

World health officials added that this study wouldn't impact their nutritional recommendations.

"This study does not change the priorities outlined worldwide for a population reduction in salt intake to prevent heart attacks and strokes, the greatest killers in the world," Francesco Cappuccio, head of the World Health Organization's collaborating center for nutrition, told Reuters.

The daily recommended value for sodium intake for Americans is 2,300 mg a day, according to the CDC, which also recommends that certain groups consume 1,500 mg or less each day, including Americans over 51 years old, African Americans, and people with hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.

The CDC has more on salt intake.

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