IN THE NEWS
SALT SENSITIVITY COULD INCREASE RISK OF HEART DISEASE
Study conclusion: People who experience a jump in blood pressure when
they consume salt are at increased risk of dying from heart disease,
according to a study published in the Feb. 16, 2001 supplemental
issue of Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association.
* The study's findings highlight the potential effects of dietary
salt on long-term health.
* Even salt-sensitive individuals with initially normal blood
pressure are at risk, according to the study.
* Researchers analyzed medical data from about 600 people ages 18 to
80. The initial analysis showed nearly 40% of the group had high
blood pressure and 50% were salt sensitive. About 21% died of
cardiovascular or other causes during the 25-year study. Individuals
who were deemed salt sensitive and initially had normal blood
pressure were just as likely to have died as those with high blood
* The researchers estimate that 26% of Americans with normal blood
pressure and about 58% of those with high blood pressure may be salt
* The researchers recommend reducing processed food consumption to
cut down daily salt intake to 2,400 mg (slightly more than 1 tsp).
This includes limiting intake of processed foods such as luncheon
meats, canned vegetables, and prepared cheeses.
FRUITS AND VEGGIES DON'T SUPPLY AS MUCH VITAMIN A
AS ORIGINALLY BELIEVED
Study conclusion 1: Dark-colored fruits and vegetables, such as
carrots, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, provide only half the vitamin
A originally thought, according to a new report on Dietary Reference
Intakes (DRIs) from the National Academies' Institute of Medicine.
Study conclusion 2: The report establishes new DRIs and upper limits
(ULs) for numerous nutrients.
* Ensuring a sufficient vitamin E intake is especially important for
people who don't eat meat, fish, eggs, or vitamin A-fortified milk or
* The DRI report is the fifth in a series that updates and expands on
the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) in the U.S. and the
Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) in Canada.
* DRIs not only establish recommended daily intakes for maintaining
health, but also tolerable upper intake levels (ULs).
* In addition to vitamin A, the report examines the nutritional value
of the micronutrients vitamin K, arsenic, boron, chromium, copper,
iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silicon, vanadium, and
zinc. It sets a daily maximum level of intake for vitamin A as well
as for boron, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel,
vanadium, and zinc. Specific recommended intakes are given for
vitamins A and K, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese,
molybdenum, and zinc.
* The report recommends the following intakes of key nutrients:
--Vitamin A: 900 mcg daily for men; 700 mcg for women. The upper
limit (UL) was set at 3 mg per day.
--Vitamin K: 120 mcg for men and 90 mcg for women. No upper limit was
--Chromium: 35 mcg for men and 25 mcg for women. No UL was set.
--Copper: 900 mcg a day for men and women. The UL is set at 10 mg.
--Iodine: 150 mcg a day for men and women. The UL is set for 1.1 mg.
--Iron: 8 mg per day for men and postmenopausal women; 18 mg for
premenopausal women. Pregnant women can consume 27 mg per day. Women
who breast-feed and are not menstruating should take 9 mg a day;
adolescents who breast-feed should take 10 mg daily. The UL is 45 mg
a day for adults.
--Manganese: 2.3 mg per day for men and 1.8 mg per day for women. The
UL is set at 11 mg for adults.
--Molybdenum: 45 mcg per day for both men and women. The UL is 2 mg.
--Zinc: 11 mg per day for men and 8 mg per day for women. The UL is
40 mg for adults.
--Arsenic, boron, nickel, silicon, and vanadium. No recommended
intakes established. UL set at 20 mg for boron, 1.8 mg of vanadium, 1
mg of nickel. Although arsenic in chemical forms is known as a toxic
element, not enough data exists on chronic intakes at lower levels
from food and supplements to set a UL. Data also were lacking upon
which to base a UL for silicon.
* The report also stated that high priority should be given to
research on micronutrients, as there has been a lack of research
aimed at studying the role of these micronutrients and optimum health.