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Shaving 3 grams off the daily salt intake of Americans could prevent up to 66,000 strokes, 99,000 heart attacks and 92,000 deaths in the United States, while saving $24 billion in health costs per year, researchers reported (Reuters Life, Jan 2010).

Less salt means lower blood pressure and less disease. According to experts' report from the Institute of Medicine, in 2005, high blood pressure (hypertension) was responsible for one-in-six deaths in the United States. Hypertension harms the heart, brain, and kidneys. Hypertension is known to boost your risk of dying of a heart attack or stroke more than smoking, high blood cholesterol, obesity, or any other risk factor does (Nutrition Action April 2010, CSPI).

Salt contains sodium, an element that raises blood pressure and can damage the blood vessels. Left untreated, high blood pressure often leads to stroke, heart disease, kidney failure, and a host of other problems. According to Erin Marcus MD, people often become more sensitive to the effects of sodium as they get older. African Americans are often especially sensitive to sodium’s effects, as are people who are obese, who have kidney disease and who have blood sugar problems.

Dr. Marcus indicated that our bodies only need about 180 milligrams of sodium daily, but the average American consumes nearly 20 times that – about 3,400 milligrams. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that people with high blood pressure, everyone older than 40, and African Americans take in no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily, or no more than 2/3 of a teaspoon of table salt. (For everyone else, they recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams daily).

Other ways to lower blood pressure include the following, as noted in Nutrition Action: Getting more potassium also helps lower blood pressure; Americans average far less than the 4,700 mg daily target. Also, eating a DASH diet - which is rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods - knocks down blood pressure . So does staying trim, daily exercise, and limiting alcohol to no more than two drinks a day (for men) and one drink a day (for women).

Helpful health and wellness tips from:, blog.lifelong supplements and health bulletin. Give your health a boost with safe lifelong supplements™!
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