New study: Reducing salt might harm heart failure patients


Is salt good or bad for you? This is a hotly debated topic. For most people moderation may be the best answer.

A brand new study shakes the old advice that people with heart failure should avoid salt – something most heart failure patients get the advice to do, based on very little evidence.

A new study tracked 900 patients with heart failure for three years. It found that people who restricted their salt intake surprisingly did MUCH worse, having an 85% higher chance of early death or hospitalization:

It may be that the current low-salt advice to heart failure patients – that most people get – is bad. They may need salt. Future randomized studies are required to know for sure.


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  1. marie
    A complicating variable with heart failure is lower-body water retention. So patients with a lot of water retention are put on diuretics and restricted sodium. Those are though the patients that have the worst heart failure, since the weaker the heart, the worse the water issue. To tease out any effect of salt itself on heart failure outcomes, they'd have to remove the water retention variable somehow. Otherwise, haven't they just found that patients with the worst heart failure have the worst outcomes?
  2. Apicius
    Salt has been a key part of human civilization. Before refrigeration, salt was valuable in preserving food through winter and summer (I.e. Salt cod, pickling, cured meats, etc). In fact, the word "salary" comes from Ancient Roman times, where salt was used as a form of pay for labour for the roman soldiers. Just like saturated fat, salt too has been shamed by the present day "expert" nutritionists, being blamed for crimes it did not commit. Eat the salt, eat the saturated's good for you and they have been a part of our food history for millennia.

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