Download Discussion document on sodium and its effects on food safety and human health (University of Otago, July 2010)
Sodium, mostly in the form of sodium chloride or salt, is widely used in foods to enhance flavour, preserve food, and improve processing. Around three quarters of sodium intake in Western countries is consumed in processed foods with a further 10-15 % added in cooking and at the table. Although sodium is an essential nutrient, the majority of the world’s population consumes far in excess of what is required, and more than recommended dietary guidelines. High sodium intake is a cause of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and renal disease. It is associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer, and osteoporosis.
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