Salt Consumption Can Lead To Bone Fracture After Menopause
June 18, 2013

High Salt Intake Increases Risk For Osteoporosis

Rebekah Eliason for — Your Universe Online

No matter how excellent a woman´s bone density is, a high salt diet after menopause raises her risk of breaking a bone according to a recent study.

Researches from the Japanese study discovered women who consumed the highest amount of sodium had more than four times the risk of a nonvertebral fracture, which is a fracture at any site other than the spine.

“Excessive sodium intake appears to be a risk factor for bone fragility. It is therefore important to consider excessive sodium intake in dietary therapy for osteoporosis," said Kiyoko Nawata, PhD, a professor of health and nutrition at the University of Shimane in Matsue, Japan.

Previous research has shown a correlation between excess sodium intake and increased bone breakdown and decreased bone mineral density. 213 postmenopausal women who had been screened for osteoporosis were studied by Nawata and her colleagues to discover if too much sodium was also related to fracture risk.

The average daily sodium intake for all participants was reported to be 5,211 milligrams (mg). An average of 7,561 mg per day was consumed by participants in the group with highest sodium intake. Nawata explained this to be the equivalent of seven McDonald´s double cheeseburgers. When compared to groups with lower sodium intake, the high intake group was 4.1 times more likely to have an existing nonvertebral bone fracture.

The increased risk was independent of other common risk factors including the woman's age, bone mineral density, body mass index, calcium and vitamin D intake, and blood level of vitamin D, as well as balance and muscle strength.

According to Nawata, groups with less sodium intake did not have an increased risk of fracture.

Mika Yamauchi, MD, associate professor of internal medicine at Shimane University Faculty of Medicine in Izumo said, “Japanese consume more sodium on average than Americans–3,972 mg versus about 3,400 mg per day.”

Although on average Americans consume less sodium than Japanese, they still are far above the recommended 2,300 mg a day. According to recommendations by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, people 51 and over should not have a daily intake of sodium greater than 1500 mg.

The Institute of Medicine released a report in May stating, “evidence on direct health outcomes does not support recommendations to lower sodium intake “¦ to, or even below, 1,500 mg per day.”

Results from this study were recently presented at the Endocrine Society's 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.