Less Salt Is Recipe For Brain Healthier Seniors

Numerous studies have connected low sodium intake with reduced blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.  Now, new research extends the benefits of a low sodium diet to enhanced brain health in healthy older adults.

Cognitive decline and diseases like Alzheimer’s are increasing as Americans live longer lives.  Some 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease according to the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance.  “By mid century someone in America will develop the disease every 33 seconds,” explains Jesse Slome, AALTCI director and one of the nation’s leading long term care insurance experts. 

Canadian researchers found that sodium intake not only impacts heart health, but brain health as well.  Health experts recommend that people 14 years of age and older consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day in their diet.

For the study the scientists assessed seniors who were categorized as low, medium or high level sodium consumers based on a food frequency questionnaire. Low sodium intake was defined as not exceeding 2,263 mg/day; mid sodium intake 3,090 mg/day; and high sodium intake 3,091 and greater.  The researchers noyted that the scale went as high as 8,098 mg/day.
The study revealed that a diet high in sodium, combined with little exercise, was especially detrimental to the cognitive performance of older adults.   They noted that sedentary older adults showed no cognitive decline over the three years that they were followed if they had low sodium intake.

The Association urges consumers to learn more about long-term care planning and get long-term care insurance cost from a designated expert via the organization’s Consumer Information Center at http://www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance/free-quote/.  “The best ages to start planning are between ages 52 and 62 when costs are lowest and you don’t risk being declined because of existing health conditions,” Slome explains.

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