NutriPro Sodium - A hot topic

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sodium’s been on the earth forever, so why is it still a hot topic today?

A matter of excess

Sodium’s been on the earth forever, so why is it still a hot topic today? Lowering the risk While sodium is found in many popular foods around the planet, recent studies show that eating (or drinking) too much has been linked to health problems such as:

  • High blood pressure¹
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Gastric cancer

How common is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is found in:

  • Over 35% of people in England²
  • Over 33% of Americans³
  • Over 65% of people in Poland⁴
  • Less than 6% of people in rural India⁴

Lowering the risk

Some studies suggest that reducing intake by just 400 mg/day over 10 years could decrease:⁵

  • Coronary heart disease by 20,000–40,000 cases per year
  • Stroke by 11,000–23,000 cases per year

It’s everywhere

Adding salt while cooking or dining only accounts for some of the sodium people consume. Many prepared foods contain a great deal of sodium, and some is even found naturally in everyday foods and drinks.

 Naturally Occuring Sodium (per 100g)
Chicken breat63 mg
Low fat milk52 mg
Perrier water1 mg
Shellfish392 mg


Besides being used to flavor food, sodium is also found in many special ingredients used to enhance or preserve food.

Sodium bicarbonateLeavening agent in batters, crispiness enhancer in breadings
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)Flavor enhancer
Sodium benzoatePreservative
Sodium caseinateThickener and binder
Sodium citrateControls acidity in soft drinks
Sodium nitrateCuring agent in meat
Sodium phosphateEmulsifier and stabilizer
Sodium propionateMold inhibitor
Sodium saccharinArtificial sweetener



1. American Heart Association. About high blood pressure.

2. Scientific Advisory committee on nutrition (SACN): Salt and Health. 2003. The stationery office.

3. CDC. Vital signs: prevalence, treatment, and control of hypertension—United States, 1999-2002 and 2005-2008. MMWR. 2011;60(4):103-8.

4. Worldwide prevalence of hypertension: a systematic review. [Review], Kearney, Patricia M a; et al. Journal of Hypertension. 22(1):11-19, January 2004.

5. Bibbins-Domingo K, Chertow GM, Coxson PG et al. reductions in cardiovascular disease projected from modest reductions in dietary salt. N Engl J Med. 2010; Feb 18; 362 (7): 590-599.