the Salt – Hypertension Myth
knowledge that too much salt in your diet can lead to hypertension,
or high blood pressure, just as it is common knowledge that too much
saturated fat in your diet can lead to high cholesterol and heart
Ahh ... except
that common knowledge is wrong, WRONG,
At this site and
in our newsletter we’ve debunked the “cholesterol myths,” so it
would only make sense that we debunk the “salt myths” too.
One study, the
Intersalt study conducted in 1984, in which “10,079 men and
women aged 20-59 [were] sampled from 52 centres around the world”
yada, yada, yada, showed a direct relationship between salt
intake/excretion and blood pressure.
If you’ve read about
Ancel Keys and his “lipid hypothesis,” you already know that the
lipid hypothesis is only an
hypothesis because it has never been proven. Keys attempted to
prove it, medicine has readily accepted it (because it was treatable
and profitable), but real
scientists have gone over Keys’ data only to conclude that the
data had been cherry picked.
Sadly the same thing happened in the Intersalt study; the data had
been cherry picked.
If you take a
look at this graph (courtesy of Intersalt), you’ll see that most of
the dots make no conclusion as to salt intake and hypertension.
However, it is the red dots that make up the “conclusions” to the
entire Intersalt study.
With an increase
in salt intake/excretion in THESE FOUR locations ONLY, they saw an
increase in blood pressure. The thing is, these locations and their
diets were so far from, so different from, the rest of the people in
the study, they should have been rejected by the study, but instead
led those conducting the study to end up comparing apples to
airplanes, or as David Freedman, a statistician from Berkeley put it:
The “salt hypothesis” is that higher levels of salt in the diet lead
to higher levels of blood pressure, increasing the risk of
cardiovascular disease. Intersalt, a crosssectional study of salt
levels and blood pressures in 52 populations, is often cited to
support the salt hypothesis, but the data are somewhat
contradictory. Four of the populations (Kenya,
Papua, and two Indian tribes in
Brazil) do have low levels of salt
and blood pressure. Across the other 48 populations, however, blood
pressures go down as salt levels go up—contradicting the hypothesis.
Experimental evidence suggests that the effect of a large reduction
in salt intake on blood pressure is modest, and health consequences
remain to be determined. Funding agencies and medical journals have
taken a stronger position favoring the salt hypothesis than is
warranted, raising questions about the interaction between the
policy process and science. [http://www.stat.berkeley.edu/~census/573.pdf]
He’s right. A
2011, published in JAMA showed that as salt intake increases,
blood pressure decreases and the risk of heart disease is 56%
greater for people with a low salt intake (the exact opposite of
what doctors and dietitians have been telling us for years).
And if you do
have cardiovascular disease (CVD), this study, from
2006, published in the American Journal of Medicine, shows
us that the lower your sodium levels, the higher mortality
Is There A
Salt-Hypertension Connection At All?
From one of our
articles (published well over 10 years ago) on
Hypertension, we get the following:
…at the Hypertension Center of the New York-Cornell Medical Center,
the research of Dr John H. Laragh, M.D shows that the High Blood
Pressure (HBP) problem lies in an overactive hormone system and not
in salt intake. In most patients with HBP, the system is over
active, and high levels of renin (a protein-digesting enzyme
released by the kidney) raises blood pressure levels. Salt levels in
the body are also reduced in this condition, and if the patient is
put on a low salt diet, salt starvation could occur, and this is a
deadly condition. Only in one third of hypertensive people (those
who have low renin levels) will sodium excess be found. This group
should lower their sodium intake, but not end it completely. The
human body needs salt to survive.
Can Salt Be Bad For Us?
In our article on Celtic Sea Salt,
we point out that the first time Dr Albert Schweitzer found cancer
in Africa, he suspected the American canned food they'd been eating;
specifically the salt.
White, processed salt is terrible for our health for the following
This is why we recommend
Celtic Sea Salt,
Alaea Sea Salt, and
Naked Sea Salt, (from the Dead Sea), because they are charged
with minerals, have a better potassium/sodium ratio, and contain no
Today’s date is
July 30, 2014. The reason I point this out is that, if you get
health newsletters online, you will run across a paper like this one
that talks about the “salt hypothesis” in order to bring your
attention to Aztec Sea Salt.
It’s a good
product. I’ve checked it out. However, it is not as good as
Celtic Sea Salt or any of the others we recommend. The reason you’ll hear about Aztec Sea Salt is
the people selling it (through an affiliate program) are making 50%
off of every sale. They can do this because the price of the Aztec
Sea Salt has been bumped up. It’s overpriced and super hyped; in
fact, for the past seven months I’ve been told there are limited
quantities (that have somehow stuck around for seven months). If you
think about it, everything exists in limited quantities.
I get my
Celtic Sea Salt
from Simply the Best.
They have the best price on the web when
you factor in shipping. (And currently, I don't even pay shipping
because I'm the volunteer shipper.)
We just don’t
want you to waste your money on the hype.