Soluble paracetamol ‘poses a problem’ as it exceeds NHS maximum salt intake – Dr. Xand

Speaking on BBC Morning Live on Monday 13 February, Dr Xand pointed out that, for example, taking soluble paracetamol can put your health at risk. Ingestion of the maximum daily dose of soluble paracetamol (eight tablets) exceeds the NHS sodium allowance.

The NHS currently recommends that adults consume “no more than 6 grams of salt per day (2.4 grams of sodium)”.

An adjunct professor at University College London (UCL) Health of the Public emphasized that eight tablets of soluble paracetamol are equivalent to 9.6 grams of sodium.

Eight tablets is the maximum dose of paracetamol a person can take in 24 hours, as highlighted on the package.

The maximum daily dose of a soluble cold remedy also exceeds the national norm of 6 g, since the medicine is 8.4 g.

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As for the eight aspirin tablets, they also exceed the NHS guidelines as they contain 9.6 g of sodium.

Anyone who has had a cold knows that taking a maximum of two tablets four times a day is easy.

However, taking such a dose means you are getting “really large amounts of sodium” into your body – and that’s before considering the person’s diet.

Dr. Xand said that this “presents a problem, especially if you are younger, if you are smaller, [and] if you have kidney problems, heart problems, or liver problems.”

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The doctor said, “Everyone should watch [their] sodium intake” as it can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

The NHS adds: “If you regularly take effervescent (soluble) vitamin supplements or take effervescent pain relievers as needed, it is worth remembering that they can contain up to 1g of salt per tablet.

“Therefore, you may want to consider switching to non-effervescent tablets, especially if you have been advised to monitor or reduce your salt intake.”

The health authority also advises people to “watch the salt content of the everyday foods you buy.”

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Breads and breakfast cereals, for example, “may add a lot of salt to our diet,” depending on the brand and variety.

By comparing brands and choosing low-salt foods, you can reduce your sodium intake.

Other branded products to look out for include:

  • Bread products such as crumpets, bagels and ciabatta
  • Sauces for pasta
  • Chips
  • Pizza
  • Ready meals
  • Soup
  • sandwiches
  • Sausages
  • Tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and other sauces.

Foods high in salt that should be eaten “less often” include:

  • Anchovies
  • Bacon
  • Cheese
  • Sauce granules
  • ham
  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Shrimps
  • Salami
  • Salted and roasted nuts
  • Salty fish
  • Smoked meat and fish
  • Soy sauce
  • Warehouse Cubes
  • Yeast extract.

Salt and blood pressure

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) says: “Some sodium in our diet is good because it helps our kidneys control the amount of water in our blood.

“If we eat too much sodium, water is drawn back into our bloodstream. The more water in our blood vessels, the higher our blood pressure becomes.”

High blood pressure puts you at risk for heart attack, heart failure, stroke and vascular dementia.

As for different types of salt, such as rock salt or pink salt, BHF says they all affect your blood pressure “just like table salt.”

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