Effects of Dietary Salt Reduction
Projected Effect of Dietary Salt Reductions on Future
Written by Dr. Daniel J. Murphy D.C., D.A.B.C.O.
TAC, Research Review , Volume 32, Issue 5
Key Points from Dan Murphy, D.C.
1) "The Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human
Services recommend daily intake of less than 5.8 g of
salt (2300 mg of sodium), with a lower target of 3.7 g
of salt per day for most adults (persons over 40 years
of age, blacks, and persons with hypertension)."
2) Despite these guidelines, the average man in the US
consumes about 10.4 g of salt per day and the average
woman 7.3 g per day.
3) The US diet is high in salt, and most of this salt
comes from processed foods. "75 to 80% of the salt in
the US diet comes from processed foods, not from salt
added during food preparation or consumption."
4) "Despite evidence linking salt intake to hypertension
and cardiovascular disease, dietary salt intake in the
U.S. is on the rise."
5) Reducing dietary salt by 3 g per day (1200 mg of
sodium per day) is projected to reduce the annual number
of new cases of:
CHD by 60,000 to 120,000
Stroke by 32,000 to 66,000
infarction by 54,000 to 99,000
Annual number of deaths from
any cause by 44,000 to 92,000
6) In reducing dietary salt by 3 g per day, "all
segments of the population would benefit, with blacks
benefiting proportionately more, women benefiting
particularly from stroke reduction, older adults from
reductions in CHD events, and younger adults from lower
7) Reducing salt intake by 3 g per day would save
194,000 to 392,000 quality-adjusted life-years and $10
billion to $24 billion in health care costs annually.
8) "Reducing dietary salt lowers blood pressure and the
risk of cardiovascular disease."
9) "All adult age groups, both sexes, and blacks and
nonblacks would be expected to benefit from reductions
in salt intake."
10) "Our postulated dietary reduction of 3 g of salt per
day, which is within the range targeted by other
developed countries, is projected to benefit the entire
US population and yield substantial reductions in
morbidity, mortality, and health care costs."
11) "The magnitude of the health benefit suggests that
salt should be a regulatory target of the Food and Drug
Administration, which currently designates salt as a
food additive that is ‘generally regarded as safe’."
12) The benefits of salt reduction may be even greater
than we have projected "by lowering salt intake even
earlier, during childhood and adolescence."
13) "Modest reductions in dietary salt would yield
substantial health benefits across the US population of
adults by lowering rates of cardiovascular events and
death and reducing medical costs."
Dr. Dan Murphy graduated magna cum laude from Western
States Chiropractic College in 1978. He received
Diplomat status in Chiropractic Orthopedics in 1986.
Since 1982, Dr. Murphy has served part-time as
undergraduate faculty at Life Chiropractic College West,
currently teaching classes to seniors in the management
of spinal disorders. He has taught more than 2000
postgraduate continuing education seminars. Dr. Murphy
is a contributing author to both editions of the book
Motor Vehicle Collision Injuries and to the book
Pediatric Chiropractic. Hundreds of detailed Article
Reviews, pertinent to chiropractors and their patients,
are available at Dr. Murphy’s web page,