I am researching salt intake for the elderly.

According to WebMd (http://www.m.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/news/20100624/90-percent-in-us-get-too-much-salt-5-foods-blamed)

Americans on average should get a maximum of 1500mg sodium = .75 teaspoon salt

Middle aged, elderly, and African American should get maximum 2300mg sodium = 1 teaspoon

But there is no documentation on minimum intake requirements.

What is the minimum sodium required for the elderly and what is the minimum sodium requirements for the young?

  • There are many factors... for example, potassium counteracts sodium.. that's just one factor.
    – Othya
    Sep 9, 2016 at 18:49
  • 1
    Humans evolved in a sodium-poor, potassium-rich environment, therefore our bodies are very good at retaining sodium and excreting potassium. It would be virtually impossible to not get adequate salt intake even if you never added a grain of salt to anything ever again. After all, our ancestors didn't.
    – Carey Gregory
    Sep 10, 2016 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


Recommended Dietary Allowances: 10th Edition

A minimum average requirement for adults can be estimated under conditions of maximal adaptation and without active sweating...to 115 mg of sodium or approximately 300 mg of sodium chloride per day. In consideration of the wide variation of patterns of physical activity and climatic exposure, a safe minimum intake [of sodium chloride] might be set at 500 mg/day [~200 mg sodium/day]

So, for adults (young or old), the minimum requirement is about 200 mg (0.2 g) of sodium per day or even just about 100 mg (0.1 g) without active sweating.

  • 2
    In other words, you'd get adequate salt from the first few bites of breakfast every morning. It almost wouldn't even matter what you eat for breakfast.
    – Carey Gregory
    Sep 10, 2016 at 15:45

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