London: Scientists have warned that cutting back on salt could do you more harm than good, by boosting chemicals that are bad for the heart.
They said reducing salt intake could can trigger rise in cholesterol and increase risk of blood clots, raising the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The NHS states that a diet rich in sodium can cause raised blood pressure and the government have issued a long-term campaign to highlight the health risks.
But researchers from the University of Copenhagen now claimed that cutting down on salt could increase the likelihood of death in some patients with existing heart problems.
A review of 67 previous studies involving over 40,000 people revealed that a reduced salt intake triggered a 2.5 per cent rise in cholesterol and a 7 per cent rise in a type of fat that can cause blood clots.
The dietary change was also shown to cause the kidneys to release more of a protein called renin and its hormone aldosterone, which is linked with high blood pressure.
“An increase in [cholesterol] would increase the risk of cardiovascular death,” the Daily Mail quoted lead researcher Dr Niels Graudal as saying.
He said that instead of people reducing their salt intake they should concentrate on quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and losing weight.
Their study follows findings from Exeter University published in July that concluded there was “no strong evidence” that lowering levels of salt in the diet reduced the risk of heart disease or premature death.
But many are sceptical of the results and say it is not enough to devalue the major benefits of cutting back on sodium.
The findings have been published in the American Journal of Hypertension.