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Ann Pharm Fr. 2009 Jul;67(4):291-4. doi: 10.1016/j.pharma.2009.03.009. Epub 2009 May 21.

[The salt content of food: a public health problem].

[Article in French]

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Académie Nationale de Pharmacie, 75006 Paris, France.


Salt abuse in nutrition may exert harmful effects on health, increasing arterial hypertension and its cardiovascular consequences. It is a risk factor, particularly for older subjects and those having chronic diseases such as arterial hypertension, some renal diseases, and obesity. In subjects more particularly vulnerable, the maintenance of sodium balance, which is mainly aldosterone dependent, is perturbed. Although the use of salt for food preservation has greatly declined, it remains a serious risk factor. Excessive salt intake however results more often from poor dietary habits. The WHO and AFSSA have advised to reduce daily salt intake to 5 g, whereas it is currently about 9-10 g. In spite of repeated warnings, salt abuse remains the causal agent for many disease conditions, mainly arterial hypertension. That is why legislative measures should be taken in order to limit the salt content of food industry products, particularly as a preservative in foods. A large-scale public information campaign would be necessary with participation of public health partners, particularly physicians and pharmacists.

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