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Too much salt may double your chances of heart failure

Sodium helps the body perform a range of biological functions, so a little salt in our diet can be healthful. But too much salt is known to be bad for our cardiovascular system. In fact, a new study suggests it may even double our risk of heart failure. New research - presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in Barcelona, Spain - examines the link between a high intake of salt and the risk of heart failure. The first author of the study is Pekka Jousilahti, a research professor at the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, Finland. Sodium - which we mostly derive from the salt we eat - is key for a range of bodily functions, such as nerve function, muscle flexibility, and fluid balance. But, as Prof. Jousilahti explains, "High salt (sodium chloride) intake is one of the major causes of high blood pressure and an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke." In fact, due to the increased risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease that is associated with a high intake of sodium, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend reducing the daily consumption of dietary sodium to less than 1,500 milligrams (mg). The World Health Organization (WHO) also recommend reducing the "mean population intake of salt /sodium" by 30 percent in...

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