CAMBRIDGE, NNC – A new research reveals that eating only two teaspoons of salt a day can damage your heart.
Having a 3.73 gram sodium intake, equivalent to about two teaspoons of salt, is associated with a larger heart valves, a study found. Previous research has also shown that the heart becomes enlarged when the muscles are overworked because of underlying conditions, such as high blood pressure.
Such salt intake also increases the tension in the heart muscle and increases the heart’s pumping rate, the study added. These results are thought to be caused by the influence of salt on blood pressure, which, according to previous studies related to heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease.
International health organizations even recommend adults to eat no more than about a quarter of a teaspoon of salt a day, which is easily exceeded if people eat fast food, as quoted by Daily Mail.
How is the research conducted?
Researchers from Harvard University analyzed the relationship between sodium intake and cardiac output in 2,996 people with an average age of 49 years. They estimate sodium intake by checking the participants' urine. The researchers performed an ultrasound test to determine the cardiac structure of the participants.
The results showed that the average daily sodium intake of study participants of 3.73 grams was associated with larger heart chambers. Previous research has suggested the heart becomes enlarged as muscles have to work harder than it should, which implies an underlying condition, such as high blood pressure.
The 3.73 gram sodium intake was also found to be associated with increased heart muscle tension and high cardiac pumping rate. The results of this study are thought to be caused by the impact of sodium on blood pressure.
Earlier research revealed eating too much salt causes the body to retain water, which leads to an increase in blood pressure. High blood pressure makes pressure on the heart, arteries, kidneys and brain, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease.