EFSA is publicly consulting on draft dietary reference values (DRVs) for sodium and chloride, the final two nutrients in its review of scientific advice on nutrient intakes for the EU population.
Sodium and chloride are the two elements in salt, commonly used in the diet as an ingredient, condiment or preservative.
The Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens provisionally considers for the general adult population (including pregnant and lactating women):
An intake of 2g sodium per day to be safe and adequate, considering evidence on the risk of cardiovascular disease on the one hand and nutrition adequacy on the other;
An intake of 3.1g chloride per day to be safe and adequate, taking account that the main source of chloride in EU diets is sodium chloride.
The panel also proposes age-specific values of both nutrients for children, adjusting for differences in energy requirement and including growth factors. Adequate intakes for infants above 6 months of age were derived from the intakes of breastfed infants below 6 months of age.
EFSA’s provisional reference values are neither nutrient goals nor recommendations for populations or individuals. They are meant to serve policy makers in the EU and its Member States to inform nutrition policies and issue dietary guidelines to help consumers make healthy dietary choices.
If you would like to contribute to the discussion before finalisation of these scientific opinions, please provide comments online and register now for the technical meeting taking place in Brussels on 7 May as part of the consultation process.