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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;63(5):598-604. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2008.18. Epub 2008 Mar 12.

Intake of household salt in a Danish population.

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Department of Nutrition, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Søborg, Denmark.



To quantify the intake of household salt and its contribution to the total salt intake in a Danish population.


Eighty-seven healthy individuals (37 men and 50 women), aged 20-55 years, recruited from the area of Copenhagen, completed the study. Total salt intake was estimated from the mean urinary excretion of sodium in four 24-h collections. Household salt, added to the food by the volunteers, was assessed using a lithium-marker technique.


Total salt intake was 10.6+/-3.3 g day(-1) (mean+/-s.d.) in men and 7.1+/-2.3 g day(-1) in women. Median intake of household salt was 1.0 g day(-1) in men and 0.5 g day(-1) in women, corresponding to 10.2 and 8.7% of total salt intake in men and women, respectively. A significant difference between sexes was found regarding total salt intake (P<0.0001), but no difference was found if total salt intake was measured per energy intake. No significant difference was found between sexes regarding intake of household salt, and neither the educational level nor the age was associated to either total salt intake or intake of household salt.


These findings support the assertion that the total salt intake in the Danish population is above the recommended intake and that the salt intake cannot be sufficiently lowered simply by lowering the use of household salt. Focus needs to be addressed to salt added during the processing or manufacture of foods, as this is the greatest source of salt intake at least in this group of healthy volunteers.

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