WHO targets for sodium and potassium intake 'unrealistic': study

Boosting potassium levels and consuming a moderate amount of salt is best, say researchers

The World Health Organisation’s daily targets for sodium and potassium intake are ‘unrealistic’, according to the authors of a large international study.

Instead, they say a recommendation to boost potassium intake while maintaining sodium intake at ‘moderate’ levels would be better for health.

The Canadian-led study of more than 103,000 people in high-, middle- and low-income countries shows just one person in 50,000 (0.002%) is meeting the WHO targets for sodium of less than 2 g/ day and potassium intake of more than 3.5 g/ day.

The Australian Heart Foundation also recommends less than 2g per day of sodium.

The study shows a moderate sodium intake of 3-5g/day combined with a potassium intake above 2.1g/day holds the lowest risk for mortality and cardiovascular events.

The research, known as PURE and published in the BMJ, used sodium and