Reduced salt intake linked to fewer stroke-caused deaths in U.K.
According to a new study, a salt-reduction campaign in the United Kingdom over the past decade has helped contribute to a significant decline in deaths caused by stroke or heart disease.
In 2003, the English government began getting companies to reduce the levels of salt being used in processed foods. By 2011, this program brought overall salt consumption down by 15 percent to approximately 1.4 grams per day. The Los Angeles Times reports that, over this same time period, stroke and heart disease-related deaths also dropped off by 40 percent.
A study published in the online British Medical Journal Open linked this reduction in salt intake to the fewer deaths caused by stroke and heart disease, though cautioned that it is still "difficult to quantify the relative contribution of salt reduction" to these diseases. Nevertheless, the new research does show that eating less salt on a day-to-day basis plays a "significant role" in reducing risk of death by either of these conditions.
"In the U.K., the political action group 'Action on Salt' worked with the government and the food industry to slowly wean the British populace off salt, with excellent results," Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, told the source.
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