©2018 Mahoning Valley Water Inc.   Soft Water and Hypertension      Is there a relationship between drinking softened water and hypertension and is the sodium in soft water harmful to people whose doctors have put them on salt restricted diets?      First of all, it depends on how strict.  Most people on salt restricted diets of less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day are commonly hospitalized.   These people should not drink any water, hard or soft,  that has not been de- mineralized, or treated with reverse osmosis or distillation.  Sodium sensitivity is very rare.  We need sodium to survive.       Sodium is in virtually every water source—surface, spring, ground water wells, you name it.  It is also in most of the foods we eat.      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines 140 milligrams of sodium per serving as being of “Low Sodium” content.  If your water was 70 grains per gallon hard (which is extremely hard), a softener will not add sodium above the “Low Sodium” level.  That dispels one myth.      New studies are showing that the amount of sodium in the diet is unrelated to the prevalence of hypertension in society or to its average blood pressure, and that other minerals, like calcium and potassium, and the electrolyte balance they create, bears at least as much relationship as sodium to whether a person is hypertensive.  And finally, the prevalent compound added to water by softening is sodium bicarbonate, which does not associate with hypertension the way sodium chloride is alleged to do in some people.   (Another myth gone to the wayside.)  This is why in January 1991 the U.S. Environmental Agency deleted sodium from their list of substances that may have required regulation in the future.      As always, you should talk to your doctor and follow his or her recommendations.  MAHONING VALLEY WATER