Study: Salt intake affects teens’ heart health

Even teenagers should keep an eye on their salt intake

(CNN) – Adolescents who consume too much salt can damage their blood vessels in ways associated with cardiovascular disease, according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Specifically, teenagers and adolescents with higher than average sodium consumption showed signs of hardening of the arteries – a known risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

Researchers examined 775 participants at an Ohio children’s hospital, who self-reported their diets. The elasticity of the brachial artery in the upper arm was measured, along with blood flow in the body.

Results showed that teenagers who ingested more salt had less elasticity in that artery.

Another study – the National Health and Nutrition “What We Eat in America” survey – found that the average sodium intake for teens aged 14-18 was more than 3,500 milligrams a day.

The recommendation for most people is only 2,300 milligrams a day.

While salt is essential for keeping our bodies functioning properly, too much of it can be bad.

So even teenagers should keep an eye on their salt intake, and lay the foundation for a long and healthy life.

Copyright 2017 CNN