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What amount of daily salt intake is ideal for a person? Does increased consumption cause any adverse effects on the health of the person?

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    Let's be careful and remember that the original poster asked about amount of salt, not the amount of sodium. People who look at Nutrition Facts labels in the USA see the amount of sodium, not the amount of salt. A molecule of salt is more than twice the weight of a sodium atom. – Iron Pillow Apr 27 '15 at 3:42
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    Also, I think this should be two questions. They are not the same at all, as "ideal" also needs to consider the lower end of the intake scale. – Iron Pillow Apr 27 '15 at 3:42
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The recommended daily intake of salt varies, but Nutrition Australia recommends 1.15-2.00 grams per day.

When you consume more salt than this, your blood pressure increases as a result of the body's compensatory mechanism for controlling the increase in plasma sodium. The body prefers to have higher blood pressure than to have a higher sodium concentration, as a high sodium concentration can be catastrophic and can lead to seizures and coma.

The mechanism behind the increase in blood pressure in order to control sodium concentration is as follows:

  1. The increase in plasma osmolarity due to the increased plasma sodium causes the osmoreceptor cells located in the anterior hypothalamus near the supra-optic nuclei to shrink. This shrinkage of the osmoreceptor cells causes them to fire, sending nerve signals to nerve cells in the supra-optic nuclei, which eventually transmit signals to the posterior pituitary.

  2. This results in increased release of the hormone ADH (anti-diuretic hormone) from the posterior pituitary. This ADH hormone then enters the blood stream, moves to the kidneys and increases the permeability of the collecting tubules to water, resulting in increased water resorption in the kidneys, leading to urine being more concentrated.

  3. The net result is an increase in water resorption and an increase in blood volume and blood pressure.

High blood pressure is associated with many adverse health effects, particularly cardiovascular disease, including stroke and myocardial infarction.

  • The mechanism description is off-topic, and can be safely ignored. – Iron Pillow Apr 27 '15 at 3:43
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    Hi there Ninja Doc, there seems to be some great information here, but we encourage citing reputable sources. If you could provide some, that'd be great, thanks! – Dave Liu Apr 30 '15 at 20:43
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    @DaveL - weren't you talking in the chat the other night with me about how to encourage more users to this site. While references may be appropriate, your downvote only deters me from making more contributions. – Kenshin May 1 '15 at 7:48
  • @NinjaDoc I'll mainly downvote things that I think can be easily fixed, but that I don't have time to edit myself. Otherwise I don't think the person will care about fixing the answer. I do believe that voting to close things too fast would be discouraging, but downvotes that potentially turn back into upvotes are more of a "stimulant", if you will. :) The downvote also serves as a placeholder to help me check those items. So yes, I believe in encouraging more users, but also motivating them to improve quality, as I wish upon myself. I don't think Downvotes are permanent rep loss, I hope? – Dave Liu May 1 '15 at 8:33
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    @DaveL, not they aren't but most people never remove downvotes. I think this is fine but you should probably state that you will remove the downvote when fixed. – Kenshin May 1 '15 at 8:49

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