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For the record

Adding salt to drinking water Image

Adding salt to drinking water

In a piece in the Times on 10th January titled “What to eat (and what to avoid) to keep in shape", Dr John Briffa said that “When carbohydrate intake is contained and insulin levels drop, the kidneys ramp up their excretion of sodium, which takes water with it.” As a way of countering this, Dr Briffa advised “adding salt to your food during cooking or at the table” and “another strategy is to add some salt to your drinking water.”

Prof Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London and Chairman of CASH responds:

"If you reduce your carbohydrate intake, you do not lose dangerous amounts of salt in the urine, therefore you do not need to increase your salt intake by very large amounts. As we get all the salt we need from our food, there is definitely no need to add salt to your drinking water. Consuming too much salt also puts you at risk of developing high blood pressure later in life, which leads to premature heart disease and stroke, the commonest causes of death and disability in the UK.”

Document type: For The Record

Published: 16 January 2012

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