But this came with significant increases in levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, the enzyme renin (involved in regulating blood pressure) and the hormones noradrenaline and adrenaline (which can affect blood pressure and heart rate).
It's unclear at this point if these changes would translate, over the long run, into more heart attacks or strokes.
But the findings do raise the issue that not all salt consumers are created equal.
"There are those who are more salt-sensitive than others," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
As for the general public, the message is still the same: Less salt is probably better for your health, Steinbaum said.
And even people who do keep their sodium intake within normal bounds should know that might not be enough.
"People need to moderate their lifestyle with better mineral intake, more plant-based foods and more exercise in their daily lives," said Karen Congro, director of the Wellness for Life Program at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City. "Sodium reduction is not going to solve their problems 100 percent."
Find out more about the new dietary guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
SOURCES: Niels Graudal, M.D., senior consultant, internal medicine and rheumatology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark; Karen Congro, R.D., CDN, director, Wellness for Life Program, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, New York City; Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., preventive cardiologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Nov. 9, 2011, American Journal of Hypertension, online
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