Sodium and Potassium

Recommendations for sodium and potassium intakes are given in Table 6. Young infants are less efficient at excreting sodium than older children, and hypernatre-mic dehydration can occur in infants being fed a high-sodium milk (such as unmodified cow's milk) if they have any extrarenal water losses such as diarrhea. Many countries do not give recommendations for sodium or potassium. Recommendations that do exist are often based on usual sodium intakes, which in Western countries are far in excess of requirement. Because of the relationship between hypertension and sodium intake in populations, most Western countries recognize that a decrease in sodium and a concurrent increase in potassium intake are desirable. In the United Kingdom, in 2003 the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition set target recommendations for salt intake in children. Infants younger than the age of

Table 6 Recommendations for sodium and potassium intake, infants and children (mmol/day)

Nutrient

Age

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