Despite the growing evidence that low sodium causes more harm than high sodium, and using unprocessed salt has more benefits than commercial processed table salt, the mostly unsubstantiated belief that salt needs to be demonized persists. The revelations of good science are continually crushed by the pressures of public health policy. Dr. Kendrick explains that the low sodium diets seem to forget that salt is composed of two molecules, salt (Na) and chloride (Cl). The chemical formula for salt is NaCl, or sodium chloride, which is salt. He quotes a study that warned low serum chlorine was more dangerous than previously considered, concluding: "Low, not high Serum Cl- (<100 mEq/L), is associated with greater mortality risk independent of obvious confounders. Further studies are needed to elucidate the relation between Cl- and risk." Dr. James DiNicolantonio, Pharm. D., is the author of recently (2017) published book, The Salt Fix: Why the Experts Got It All Wrong--and How Eating More Might Save Your Life .
Researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago followed more than 800 heart failure patients for an average of three years. Both their health status and salt intake were analyzed. It turned out that those following a low-sodium diet were 85 percent more likely to die or require hospitalization for heart disease compared to those who didn’t restrict their salt intake. Among those restricting their sodium intake, 42 percent died or were hospitalized for heart problems during the study, compared to 26 percent of those with no salt restrictions.
Since graduating from medical school in 1989, I have come to the conclusion that much of what I was taught was wrong. In fact, at my medical school graduation, the dean said, “Fifty percent of what we just taught you was wrong, your job is to figure out which part was correct and which was incorrect.” When medical students come to my office, I always encourage them to question everything I tell them and, furthermore, to question what they have been taught. I was taught in medical school that a lowered salt diet was a healthy diet—for everyone. Furthermore, it was drilled into my head that anyone with heart disease, particularly heart failure, should limit salt in his/her diet. In fact, it is still standard-of-care for a cardiologist to tell his/her heart patient to limit salt in their diet. This is especially true when the patient is suffering from heart failure. So, does limiting salt in the diet of a patient with heart failure result in a better outcome? Not according to a recent study.
An article in the New England Journal of Medicine (August 14, 2014) studied the sodium levels in 101,945 persons from 17 countries. The scientists examined the association between sodium excretion and the outcome of death and major cardiovascular events. Sodium excretion correlates directly with sodium ingestion. This article is another in a long-line of salt articles debunking the myth that we need to lower our salt intake. I have tested thousands of patients for their salt levels. I can assure you that the vast majority of patients are low in salt.
One of the most pervasive and stupid things that we are currently told to do is to reduce salt intake. This advice has never been based on controlled clinical studies, ever. Yet, as with the cholesterol myth, the dogma that we should all reduce salt intake has become impervious to facts.
Salt is the second major constituent in our body, next to water. We need adequate amounts of good salt in our diet to run hundreds of different biochemical pathways. We have been conditioned to think that we should eat less salt. The powers-that-be routinely release edicts stating that we need to eat less salt in order to be healthier and have less hypertension. However, this is just not true. Eating less salt will not make us healthier and not lower the risk for hypertension. A new study shows that lower salt consumption actually results in higher rates of hypertension.
The CDC commissioned the IOM to do a study on salt. The results are in and clear: The evidence shows that limiting yourself to the amount of salt the CDC recommends will harm your health. So what does the CDC do about it? Nothing, of course! You truly must ask why this is? Is the CDC’s goal to destroy American’s health? Their own commissioned study has found that intake of 1,500-2,300 mg of sodium per day is harmful to precisely this group of people. To be frank, the only explanation must be that the CDC is little more than a front for Big Pharma. As long as they can continue to point the finger of blame at people themselves, the more they can justify pushing drugs on them. As long as the high blood pressure hysteria can be maintained by blaming salt, the easier it is to get people to take their blood pressure and cholesterol drugs.
The Institute of Medicine has now reported that Americans should no longer limit their salt consumption. Low-salt diets can lead to increased risk of heart attack, as well as increased cholesterol, insulin levels, and hypertension, despite being told that salt was unhealthy for years.
by Sue Ward, MS CCN
Salt is an essential dietary nutrient. Without it, life itself would not be possible since all living things utilize salt. Even the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (450 BC), known as the father of medicine, recognized the healing potential of salt.
However, there is a major difference between refined table salt and […]
by Dr. Mercola
For many decades now, U.S. policy makers have been attempting to get Americans to eat less salt. But the drive to do this has little basis in science. In fact, a recent meta-analysis by the Cochrane Review involving a total of 6,250 subjects found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces […]