Study Reopens Rift Over Low-Sodium-for-All Policies
. . . an easy to understand, but impossible to learn lesson.
More below the fold.
" A pooled analysis involving more than 130,000 people from 49 countries adds to a growing body of evidence that low sodium intake may be harmful, but acceptance is far from universal.
Compared with average sodium intake (3 to 6 g/day), low sodium intake (<3 g/day) was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events and death regardless of whether the patient had hypertension or not.
In contrast, high sodium intake (>6 g/day) was associated with increased risk only in hypertensive patients, according to the investigators, led by Dr Andrew Mente (McMaster University, Hamilton, ON).
"The message is that populationwide sodium reduction is probably ill-advised, and we need to simply identify the individuals who have both hypertension and consume high amounts of sodium and get them to reduce their sodium intake to moderate levels. That would be the ideal approach," Mente told heartier from Medscape, noting that only about 10% of the population had hypertension and high sodium intake."
Well, sorta. The lesson is that there is a large group of people wish to tell others what to do, regardless of actual science. Here it is very clear that sodium causes few problems in people who consume at least 3 grams per day, and who do not have hypertension (Maddog would allow ample room for other unstated sodium complicating diseases as well).
The shrill screaming comes, however, not from the people who believe this study, but from the True Believes who believe salt is bad, naughty, bad salt. These are the people who wish to force everyone to adhere to a sub 3 gram per day salt regime, regardless of the science.
Living in the progressive Utopia of Portlandia, Maddog knows many such people. This study caused their heads to pop like an old zit. But anyone who has been paying attention to the wider world, including John Ioannidis' work knows that all of the studies in areas like this are fraught with problems.
Why Most Published Research Findings Are False
While large studies like the one here are more valuable, and commonly less fraught with problems, they are not free from them.
The article has a reasonable approach.
"'The message is that population wide sodium reduction is probably ill-advised, and we need to simply identify the individuals who have both hypertension and consume high amounts of sodium and get them to reduce their sodium intake to moderate levels. That would be the ideal approach," Mente told heartier from Medscape, noting that only about 10% of the population had hypertension and high sodium intake."
As we have continued further and further from the apocalypse that was WWI, and we continue to lose our ties to religion, and belief, we are suffering more and more from the need to replace these lost beliefs with new. Medicine, and environmentalism have increasingly taken the place of belief and religion in the lives of many. This is a terrible idea. Replacing reformed theistic religions with unreformed atheistic religions is a recipe for utter disaster. Representative examples of this are Nazism, Soviet International Socialism, Maoism, and myriad other murderous secular religions.
Science must remain science, and hew to the necessities of the scientific method, once it strays from this channel, it can quickly become a fearsome and murderous master.
Don't worry about salt, worry about the religiofication of science, and the secular, this way lies tyranny, madness, and murder.