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

UK

EU

USA

LNRI

acceptable

minimum

range

requirement

Sodium

0-6 months

6

6-12 months

9

1-3 years

9

13

4-6 years

12

25-152

13

7-10 years

15

25-152

17.5

11-14 years

20

25-152

22

15-18 years

25

25-152

22

RNI

EU PRI

USA RDA

Potassium

0-3 months

20

12.8

4-6 months

22

18

7-12 months

08

20

26

1-3 years

20

20

36

4-6 years

28

28

36

7-10 years

50

41

41

11-14 years

80

51

51

15-18 years

90

51

1year should take 17mmol or less per day; for ages 1-3, 4-6, 7-10, and 11-14 years, the targets are 34, 51, 85, and 102mmolperday, respectively. The target recommendations are higher than the UK Reference Nutrient Intake but below estimated intakes of infants and children in the United Kingdom and below the upper limit of the EU acceptable range.

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