In 2013, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) was asked by the Department of Health (DH) to provide advice on the potential risks and benefits of reducing the sodium (salt) content of foods through the use of potassium-based sodium replacers.
A Joint SACN-COT (Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment) working group was convened to conduct a benefit-risk assessment to consider the impact of substituting 15 to 25% of sodium in foods with potassium. The joint assessment integrates advice based on independent position statements published by SACN looking at the potential benefits (see statement above) and by COT looking at the potential risks of increasing potassium intakes.
The joint SACN-COT benefit-risk assessment concludes that overall, at a population level, the potential benefits of using potassium-based sodium replacers to help reduce sodium in foods outweigh the potential risks. The beneficial effects at an individual level are likely to be small in size but will impact a large proportion of the population.