Cutting your intake of salt may not be enough to stop you from having a heart attack, according to a new study.
Some moderate reductions do not make any difference to the risk of dying or suffering heart attacks or strokes, data from seven studies reveal.
Lowering consumption of salt did lead to a slight reduction in blood pressure after six months among 6,489 participants of a study, published in the Cochrane Library. But there was no impact on cardiovascular events or rates of death.
However, most scientists agree that eating too much salt is bad for you and that cutting your intake can lead to benefits, even if you do not have high blood pressure.
Study leader Professor Rod Taylor, of the University of Exeter, said: "We believe that we didn't see big benefits in this study because the people in the trials we analysed only reduced their salt intake by a moderate amount, so the effect on blood pressure and heart disease was not large."
"An interesting article. The sample size was not near enough to compel 'evidence' that reducing salt does very little to improve health. The Mail's report was misleading. Compare this with Reuters UPDATE 1-Review raises questions over benefits of cutting salt (Wed Jul 6, 2011). WCRF has written an interesting follow up to this" - Denise Wright, Hampshire