Sodium, or salt, is an essential electrolyte for humans, but most people consume much more sodium than is necessary for optimum physical function. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that adults should have a daily salt intake of less than 2,300 milligrams; a 2009 study found an average intake among those in the sample group of 2,700-4,900 milligrams per day.
Too much salt intake may be linked to cardiovascular disease, duodenal and gastric ulcers, edema, heartburn, hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy, osteoporosis, stroke, and death in cases of concentrated high doses over short periods of time. High salt intake is not always a sole cause of such conditions, but lowering the amount of salt consumed frequently lessens symptoms or complications from these conditions.
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