- 1 Salt: Good or Bad?
Salt is essential for Life. In this blog-article, i will first review toxic and devitalized salts (Section A). In contrast, i will follow-up with a description of healthy salts and their many Benefits (Section B). And before concluding, i will review the importance of salt’s biochemistry for optimal human wellbeing. (Section C)
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Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), it is present in salt mines like for the pink himalayan salt and in vast quantities in seawater, where it is the main mineral constituent. Celtic grey salt. Salt is essential for life in general, and saltiness is one of the basic human tastes. Salt is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous food seasonings, and salting is an important method of food preservation.
Salt became an important article of trade and was transported by boat across the Mediterranean Sea, along specially built salt roads, and across the Sahara on camel caravans. The scarcity and universal need for salt have led nations to go to war over it and use it to raise tax revenues.
Salt is processed from salt mines, and by the evaporation of seawater (sea salt) and mineral-rich spring water in shallow pools. Table salt which usually contains an anti-caking agent and may be iodised to prevent iodine deficiency.
Sodium is an essential nutrient for human health via its role as an electrolyte and osmotic solute. Excessive salt consumption may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, in children and adults. Such health effects of salt have long been studied. Accordingly, numerous world health associations and experts in developed countries recommend reducing consumption of popular salty foods. The World Health Organization recommends that adults should consume less than 2,000 mg of sodium, equivalent to 5 grams of salt per day.
Sodium (salt) is an ancestral condiment that has been keep in evolution and survival. Humanids who did not get enough salt, usually inland did not survive as lont as hominids close to the sea where salt and iodine where present in abundance. (Source). Today, it is estimated that human needs about one gram per day. Yet, most Americans will consume much more and the American Cardiology Association has indicated that this excess is a major contributor to high blood pressure, and therefore CVD. On the other hand, in Europe, studies have shown that those who have more salt have a better health and cardiovascular system. (Source).
It is thus legitimate to ask whether quantity is impacted by quality ? And there may be a genetic aspect where some people need more salt than others. In this Presentation, we will elucidate this question.
Devitalized Table salt
The table salt found in most homes, restaurants, and processed food is void of nutritional value and lacks beneficial trace minerals.
SECTION UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Thomas, Pat. “What Type of Salt Is Best?” The Ecologist. 17 June 2009. Web. 14 Mar.2017.
Many people are unaware that common table salt is processed with questionable chemicals
Mercer, Don. “Yikes! There’s Sugar in Our Salt.” International Union of Food Science And Technology. International Union of Food Science & Technology. Web. 14 Mar. 2017.
and dried at more than 1,200° Fahrenheit—a process that disrupts its natural chemical structures.
Arya, Jitendra. “Food Is Your Medicine.” Pune: Dr. Arya Publications, 2014. Print
The average American consumes 3,400 mg of sodium chloride a day, over 1,000 mg more than the recommended limit.
“Get the Facts: Sodium and the Dietary Guidelines.” Cdc.gov. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Apr. 2
he body cannot dispose of it in a natural, healthy way, which can lead to tissue irritation, water retention, and high blood pressure.
Conclusion: processed table salt is energetically dead, as its crystals are completely isolated from one another. For the body to metabolize chemical table salt, it must expend lots of of energy to keep the body in a state of optimum fluid balance. This creates a burden on the body’s elimination systems as water is removed from other cells in an attempt to neutralize the unnatural, processed salts.
Hendel, Barbara, and Peter Ferreira. “Water & Salt: The Essence of Life, the Healing Power of Nature.” Switzerland: Michaels Verlag, 2007. Print.
Polluted Sea Salts
Pollutants, in particular micro plastics.
The researchers purchased various salt products from a market in Malaysia, but the actual sea salt in each product had been extracted from different countries including Australia, France, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal and South Africa.
The salt extracted from France was the only brand that was not contaminated with microplastic.
Of the plastic particles extracted from the salt, 41.6 percent was identified as plastic polymers, 23.6 percent were pigments and 5.50 percent were amorphous carbon. Researchers could not identify the remaining 29.1 percent. The particles came in the form of plastic fragments, filaments and film.
Celtic sea salt is comparable to Himalayan crystal salt in its composition and health benefits, but it’s a completely different salt that comes from a different source (Brittany, France), has a different color (grayish) and a different mineral makeup.
In addition to sodium and chloride, Celtic Sea Salt® provides other nutrients that naturally occur in salt beds, including trace amounts of calcium, magnesium potassium, iron and zinc.
In accordance with standards set by The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, independent analysis indicates that levels of heavy metals are non-detectable (e.g. arsenic, cadmium, mercury) or well below published safe limits in Celtic Sea Salt®. Perhaps most importantly, Celtic Sea Salt® is not exposed to refinement and bleaching used to manufacture typical table salt and there are no additives. Celtic Sea Salt® is harvested from the ocean using the sun, the wind and shallow clay ionizing ponds, a method passed down through the generations.
 These processes in the body, especially in the brain, nervous system, and muscles, require electrical signals for communication. The movement of sodium is critical in the generation of these electrical signals. Too much or too little sodium therefore can cause cells to malfunction, and extremes in the blood sodium levels (too much or too little) can be fatal
As scientific research has pointed out, “US Dietary Guidelines recommend a daily sodium intake 2300 mg, but evidence linking sodium intake to mortality outcomes is scant and inconsistent.” (
Top 5 Benefits of Pink Himalayan Salt
1. Improves Respiratory Problems
According to the Lung Institute, salt is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, loosens excessive mucus and speeds up mucus clearance, removes pathogens in the air like pollen, and decreases IgE level (immune system oversensitivity). (7)
If you Google “Himalayan salt cave,” you see that there are now salt caves made of Himalayan salt all over the country (and world) so people can experience the beneficial health effects, especially when it comes to the respiratory system.
There is actually a term for this type of natural treatment. It’s called halotherapy. Derived from the Greek word for salt, “halos,” halotherapy or salt therapy is the inhalation of micronized dry salt within a chamber that mimics a salt cave. Studies have shown halotherapy to be a highly effective drug-free part of successfully treating chronic bronchitis. (8)
2. Balances Body’s pH
Pink Himalayan sea salt’s rich mineral content can help balance your body’s pH levels. You may think this is no big deal, but when your pH has a healthy acid-to-alkaline ratio, it makes a huge difference in your overall health. A proper pH helps foster your immunity and encourage good digestion. Since pink Himalayan salt contains sodium as well as other electrolytes, it has a direct effect on the pH of your blood.
3. Natural Digestive Aid
You can use pink Himalayan salt to make your own sole, a saturated solution containing purified water and Himalayan salt. Sole is very similar to my salt water flush recipe, in which you can use pink Himalayan salt to help you obtain all the many possible benefits of a salt water flush.
According to natural health practitioners like Dr. Mark Sircus, an acupuncturist and doctor of oriental and pastoral medicine, a dose of sole each day can really help the digestive system in major ways. He says that “daily use of sole is believed to stimulate the peristalsis of the digestive organs, balance the stomach acid, support the production of digestive fluids in the liver and pancreas, regulate the metabolism and harmonize the acid-alkaline balance.” (9)
4. Air Purifier
When pink Himalayan salt is used to create a lamp, it just may provide your home or office with cleaner air. One of the main Himalayan salt lamp benefits is its supposed ability clean the air. How? By its inherent nature as a salt, the lamp (which is a block of pure pink Himalayan salt) attracts water vapor to it as well as air pollutants. The water vapor evaporates due the lamp’s heat, but the dust and allergens remain in the salt instead of getting into your body. (10)
5. Better Sleep Inducer
Himalayan sea salt is said to help encourage better, more restful sleep due to its high mineral content. It may be hard to believe, but eating enough salt in your diet daily is actually key to a good night’s rest as a natural sleep aid.
Research way back in 1989 showed that low-sodium diets can cause disturbed and irregular sleep patterns. The study was small, but the results were very interesting. Subjects on low-sodium diets (around 500 milligrams a day) woke up during the night almost twice as often and got about 10 percent less sleep than those on a normal diet (2,000 milligrams of sodium a day). A high-sodium diet (5,000 milligrams a day) led to even longer sleep than the normal diet with fewer nighttime wakings.
As Dr. Michael V. Vitiello, the director of the Sleep and Aging Research Program at the University of Washington in Seattle, keenly points out, “low levels of sodium in the blood cause blood volume to decrease, and the sympathetic nervous system becomes more active in order to compensate. That causes sleepers to wake up more often and have difficulty going back to sleep.” (11)
Many also believe that natural Himalayan crystal salt offers health benefits such as:
•Regulating water levels in the body
•Promoting stable pH balance
•Encouraging healthy blood sugar levels
•Reducing the appearance of aging
•Promoting cellular hydroelectric energy balance
•Aiding vascular health
•Supporting healthy respiratory function
•Promoting overall sinus health
•Promoting healthy sleep patterns
•Encouraging healthy libido
•Promoting kidney and gallbladder health
Merrell, Alicia. “Eat Smart, Live Long There Is No Diet That Can Do What Healthy Eating Can.” N.p.: Xlibris, 2016. Print.
Hendel, Barbara, and Peter Ferreira. “Water & Salt: The Essence of Life, the Healing Power of Nature.” Switzerland: Michaels Verlag, 2007. Print.
French Celtic Salts
Himalayan Crystal Salt
The Health Benefits
Himalayan crystal salt has matured over the past 250 million years under intense tectonic pressure in an environment that’s free of toxins and impurities.
Even better, this form of salt contains about 80 natural minerals and elements used by the human body. It’s popular in Ayurvedic, Tibetan, and other traditions. Adherents believe that Himalayan salt’s unique cellular structure allows it to store vibrational energy.
Unprocessed salt, such as my particular favorite, pink Himalayan salt, has a different balance of sodium and chloride with added natural minerals your body also requires, such as phosphorus and vanadium.21 These other minerals are what color the salt pink.
Himalayan salt is mined from salt beds created long before plastic and other toxic chemicals were manufactured. When the ocean beds were lifted, as the Himalayan mountains were formed, these salt beds rose from the sea and were later protected by lava and covered in snow and ice for thousands of years. Compared to the salt mined from oceans laden with persistent organic pollutants and microparticles of plastic, Himalayan salt is by far your best option when you want to reduce your toxic loa
These tiny bits of plastic contaminants are called microplastics and there’s a number of ways they can end up in the ocean. Most obviously, microplastics can be the result of plastic trash, like shopping bags and cellophane packaging, fragmenting repeatedly in the environment into microscopic bits. But they can also enter the water system when you do your laundry. When you wash clothing made from synthetic fibers, like fleece jackets made from recycled plastic water bottles, it sheds bits of plastic lint that go down the drain and eventually end up in the bellies of fish and, as we now know, our salt shakers.
The Biochemistry of Salt
Real salt (of various kinds) contains plenty of magnesium and other important minerals, which is why it usually does not affect blood pressure in a negative way.
Sodium is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining levels of fluids and for providing channels for nerve signaling. Some sodium is needed in your body to regulate fluids and blood pressure, and to keep muscles and nerves running smoothly.
Without appropriate amounts of sodium, your body may have a difficult time cooling down after intense exercise or activity. When the body is hot, you sweat. If you do not have enough sodium, your body may not sweat as much and you may then become overheated. This could result in a stroke or exhaustion as well as dehydration.
Sodium is an energy carrier. It is also responsible for sending messages from the brain to muscles through the nervous system so that muscles move on command. When you want to move your arm or contract any muscle in your body, your brain sends a message to a sodium molecule that passes it to a potassium molecule and then back to a sodium molecule etc., etc., until it gets to its final destination and the muscle contracts. This is known as the sodium-potassium ion exchange. Therefore, without sodium, you would never be able to move any part of your body.
Excess sodium (such as that obtained from dietary sources) is excreted in the urine. Most of the sodium in the body (about 85%) is found in blood and lymph fluid. Sodium levels in the body are partly controlled by a hormone called aldosterone, which is made by the adrenal glands. Aldosterone levels determine whether the kidneys hold sodium in the body or pass it into the urine.
How’s Your Sodium/Potassium Balance?
It’s generally recommended that you consume five times more potassium than sodium, but most Americans eat twice as much sodium as potassium. If you’re eating mostly processed foods and few fresh vegetables, your sodium-to-potassium balance is virtually guaranteed to be inversed. Imbalance in this ratio not only can lead to high blood pressure but also contribute to a number of other health problems, including:
What’s Your Best Salt Option: quality and quantity ?
If you believe eating high amounts of salt would increase your thirst or your blood pressure, you are likely wrong. Studies have consistently failed to support these assertions.
Instead, your body needs both the sodium and chloride ions that make up salt and is unable to produce either, so you must get it from your food.
However, not all salt is created equally.
Plastic Microparticles Linked to Liver Toxicity
A study demonstrated the accumulation of chemical pollutants absorbed into plastic microparticles increase liver toxicity and pathology in the marine animals that eat them.
When fish were fed similar plastic particles that had not absorbed additional chemical toxins, they also showed signs of stress but significantly less severe than those fed chemically laden fragments. Bioaccumulation of plastics and toxins is common in marine animals as both the plastics and the contaminants are resistant to metabolic or mechanical breakdown.
In another study evaluating the presence of microfibers in researchers found 83 percent of the samples collected from a dozen different nations were contaminated with plastic fibers. The U.S. had the highest contamination rate; plastic fibers were found in 94 percent of the sites sampled, including Congress buildings, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters and Trump Tower in New York.
Many of the traditionally attributed health benefits of Himalayan salt have yet to be scientifically established, but regardless of what salt you choose, it is clear that controlling your sodium intake can have a huge impact on your health and well-being.
UN Declares War on Ocean Plastic
Researchers believe the majority of plastic pollution originates from single-use plastics and microfibers. Currently, nearly 13 tons of plastic enter the oceans each year. This is equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the ocean every minute.8 If change doesn’t occur, this may mean up to two garbage trucks full of plastic being dumped into the ocean every minute.
In response to the rising problem, the United Nations (U.N.) Environment announced a major global effort to end marine pollution tagged #CleanSeas.9 The campaign is urging governments around the world to pass plastic reduction policies, mandate redesign of products and call on consumers to change their habits — all before further irreversible damage is done to the seas.
City health czar Dr. Thomas Farley is warring with a noted scientist over sodium in the same medical journal where Farley trumpeted the city’s war on salt.
“We cannot extrapolate that lowering sodium consumption would reduce cardiovascular risk or premature death,” declared Dr. Sean C. Lucan of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in this month’s American Journal of Public Health.
“Despite assertions to the contrary,” Lucan wrote — citing an anti-salt screed by Farley and a colleague from September — “we do not know that reducing mean population sodium intake would decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease or save lives.”
The city launched its salt plan in 2010, with the goal of a 25 percent reduction of salt in packaged foods and restaurants by 2014.
The sodium scheme, called the National Salt Reduction Initiative, is voluntary.
Lucan told The Post the city’s salt war is “misguided” — and potentially dangerous.
“We can’t just swallow this as fact — there’s actually debate about this.
The presence of microplastics in commercial salts from different countries
Ali Karami, Abolfazl Golieskardi, Cheng Keong Choo, Vincent Larat, Tamara S. Galloway & Babak Salamatinia
Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 46173 (2017)
25 November 2016
09 March 2017
06 April 2017
The occurrence of microplastics (MPs) in saltwater bodies is relatively well studied, but nothing is known about their presence in most of the commercial salts that are widely consumed by humans across the globe. Here, we extracted MP-like particles larger than 149 μm from 17 salt brands originating from 8 different countries followed by the identification of their polymer composition using micro-Raman spectroscopy. Microplastics were absent in one brand while others contained between 1 to 10 MPs/Kg of salt. Out of the 72 extracted particles, 41.6% were plastic polymers, 23.6% were pigments, 5.50% were amorphous carbon, and 29.1% remained unidentified. The particle size (mean ± SD) was 515 ± 171 μm. The most common plastic polymers were polypropylene (40.0%) and polyethylene (33.3%). Fragments were the primary form of MPs (63.8%) followed by filaments (25.6%) and films (10.6%). According to our results, the low level of anthropogenic particles intake from the salts (maximum 37 particles per individual per annum) warrants negligible health impacts. However, to better understand the health risks associated with salt consumption, further development in extraction protocols are needed to isolate anthropogenic particles smaller than 149 μm.
Redmond Real Salt is mined in the United States and is another good unrefined salt that I also recommend. It can be used as a table salt and for cooking and is available in coarse and fine grinds and in a variety of sizes.
Real Salt comes from a mineral rich salt deposit formed by an ancient sea in Utah. It contains 62 trace minerals, and is without additives, chemicals, or heat processing of any kind. Real Salt’s unique pinkish appearance and flecks of color come from the more than 60 naturally occurring trace minerals. The result is a delicate “sweet salt” flavor that you may not have experienced before.
Special Note: I was very disappointed to hear Dr. Max Gerson’s daughter Charlotte Gerson saying, “That sodium is never good, never in any form!” I have put Gerson in the best light in my writings and his organization does hold the high ground for organic raw juicing but there are some things they say that have no grounding in medical science or clinical reality
Salt: Good or Bad?
Health organizations have been warning us about the dangers of salt for a long time.
That’s because high salt intake has been claimed to cause a number of health problems, including high blood pressure and heart disease.
However, decades of research have failed to provide convincing evidence to support this (1).
What’s more, many studies actually show that eating too little salt can be harmful.
This article takes a detailed look at salt and its health effects.
Salt is also called sodium chloride (NaCl). It consists of 40% sodium and 60% chloride, by weight.
Salt is by far the biggest dietary source of sodium, and the words “salt” and “sodium” are often used interchangeably.
The essential minerals in salt act as important electrolytes in the body. They help with fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle function.
Some amount of salt is naturally found in most foods. It’s also frequently added to foods in order to improve flavor.
Historically, salt was used to preserve food. High amounts can prevent growth of the bacteria that cause food to go bad.
Salt is harvested in two main ways: from salt mines and by evaporating sea water or other mineral-rich water.
There are actually many types of salt available. Common varieties include plain table salt, Himalayan pink salt and sea salt.
The different types of salt may vary in taste, texture and color. In the picture above, the one on the left is more coarsely ground. The one on the right is finely ground table salt.
In case you’re wondering which type is the healthiest, the truth is that they are all quite similar.
BOTTOM LINE:Salt is mainly composed of two minerals, sodium and chloride, which have various functions in the body. It is found naturally in most foods, and is widely used to improve flavor.
This amounts to about one teaspoon, or 6 grams of salt (it is 40% sodium, so multiply sodium grams by 2.5).
However, about 90% of US adults consume a lot more than that (7).
Eating too much salt is claimed to raise blood pressure, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
However, there are some serious doubts about the true benefits of sodium restriction.
It is true that reducing salt intake can lower blood pressure, especially in people with a medical condition called salt-sensitive hypertension (8).
But, for healthy individuals, the average reduction is very subtle.
One study from 2013 found that for individuals with normal blood pressure, restricting salt intake reduced systolic blood pressure by only 2.42 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by only 1.00 mmHg (9).
That is like going from 130/75 mmHg to 128/74 mmHg. These are not exactly the impressive results you would hope to get from enduring a tasteless diet.
BOTTOM LINE:Limiting salt intake does result in a slight reduction in blood pressure. However, there is no strong evidence linking reduced intake to a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes or death.
There is some evidence suggesting that a low-salt diet can be downright harmful.
The negative health effects include:
- Elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides: Salt restriction has been linked to elevated LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides (12).
- Heart disease: Several studies report that less than 3,000 mg of sodium per day is linked to an increased risk of dying from heart disease (13, 14, 15, 16).
- Heart failure: One analysis found that restricting salt intake increased the risk of dying for people with heart failure. The effect was staggering, with a 160% higher risk of death in individuals who reduced their salt intake (17).
- Insulin resistance: Some studies have reported that a low-salt diet may increase insulin resistance (18, 19, 20, 21).
- Type 2 diabetes: One study found that in type 2 diabetes patients, less sodium was associated with an increased risk of death (22).
BOTTOM LINE:A low-salt diet has been linked to higher LDL and triglyceride levels, and increased insulin resistance. It may increase the risk of death from heart disease, heart failure and type 2 diabetes.
Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is the fifth most common cancer.
It is the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide, and is responsible for more than 700,000 deaths each year (23).
A massive review article from 2012 looked at data from 7 prospective studies, including a total of 268,718 participants (28).
It found that people with high salt intake have a 68% higher risk of stomach cancer, compared to those who have a low intake.
Exactly how or why this happens is not well understood, but several theories exist:
- Growth of bacteria: High salt intake may increase the growth of Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that can lead to inflammation and gastric ulcers. This may increase the risk of stomach cancer (29, 30, 31).
- Damage to stomach lining: A diet high in salt may damage and inflame the stomach lining, thus exposing it to carcinogens (25, 31).
However, keep in mind that these are observational studies. They can not prove that high salt intake causes stomach cancer, only that the two are strongly associated.
BOTTOM LINE:Several observational studies have linked high salt intake with an increased risk of stomach cancer. This may be caused by several factors.
Most of the salt in the modern diet comes from restaurant foods or packaged, processed foods.
In fact, it is estimated that about 75% of the salt in the US diet comes from processed food. Only 25% of the intake occurs naturally in foods or is added during cooking or at the table (32).
Salted snack foods, canned and instant soups, processed meat, pickled foods and soy sauce are examples of high-salt foods.
There are also some seemingly un-salty foods that actually contain surprisingly high amounts of salt, including bread, cottage cheese and some breakfast cereals.
If you are trying to cut back, then food labels almost always list the sodium content.
BOTTOM LINE:Foods that are high in salt include processed foods, such as salted snacks and instant soups. Less obvious foods, such as bread and cottage cheese, may also contain a lot.
However, if you are a healthy person who eats mostly whole, single ingredient foods, then there is probably no need for you to worry about your salt intake.
In this case, you can feel free to add salt during cooking or at the table in order to improve flavor.
Eating extremely high amounts of salt can be harmful, but eating too little may be just as bad for your health (16).
As is so often the case in nutrition, the optimal intake is somewhere between the two extremes.