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Pravda said on 22 June 2011

For centuries salt, or to give it its scientific name, sodium chloride (NaCl), has been regarded as one of the most important items of diet for health. Salt was so important that people were actually paid in salt (it is the origin of the word 'salary'), and it was used extensively as a valuable commodity for bartering. Then, suddenly, in the 20th Century it became a killer: indicted as a cause of hypertension and, thence, of stroke and of heart disease. The evidence on which this was based arose from poorly controlled cross-cultural studies carried out earlier in the century. At least in the debates on the desirability of fats and fibre, trials were carried out in an attempt to provide evidence to support the hypothe­ses, but no similar trials have been carried out in the case of salt. The salt hypothesis has no large-scale studies to back it up. The intervention studies that have been carried out are confined to small numbers of people with high blood pressure, and many of these have failed to show that lowering salt intake has any significant effect on blood pressure in those with hypertension. And no tests have been conducted on those whose blood pressure is normal to show that reducing salt intake will reduce the risk of their becoming hypertensive.