Estimating Salt Intakes

The principal and most accurate method for estimating sodium intake is to measure sodium excretion rates in individuals who are asked to collect one or more complete 24-h urinary outputs. To measure absolute amounts a marker for completeness of collections is required. Measurement of intake from dietary assessment methods alone is considered unreliable. Until recently, however, there was no way of establishing how much of the 24-h sodium intake was derived from different sources, without the use of traditional weighing and analytical methods. A new technique involving the use of lithium has allowed a new approach; this method involves fusing Li2Co4 (used as a tracer) with NaCl. One preliminary 24-h collection and three full 24-h urinary collections are required.

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