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New study says take salt health warnings with, er, a pinch of salt

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French-friesCUTTING salt from your diet will not prevent heart attacks, strokes or early death, a new report claimed today.

 

It may even increase the risk of premature death, researchers said.

The conclusions of the extensive study, involving 6,500 people, fly in the face of current medical advice that salt is a major killer.

The team at Britain's Exeter University say the benefits of a reduced-salt diet have been over-estimated and that lifestyle factors such as eating fruit, taking exercise, following a low-fat diet and not smoking are more important.

Lead researcher Rod Taylor said: “Perhaps surprisingly we didn’t find any statistically significant reduction in death or cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.”

But critics claim the study was flawed because it was not conducted for a long enough period.

Current medical guidelines suggest an adult should have no more than 6g of salt a day.

The new study was published in the Cochrane Review journal concludes there is limited evidence that cutting down on salt reduces the risk of illness or early death.


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