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Thursday, 28 April 2011

Salt intake and chronic disease.

The Ancel Keys data regarding fat and chronic disease, has been proved to be bogus, could it be, the same can be said for salt ?

“Statistics are somewhat like expert witnesses in that they can be used to testify for either side depending on what you want to prove. When Michael Alderman, a highly regarded epidemiologist and past president of The American Society of Hypertension scrutinized the same data in patients who were not overweight he reported that "the more salt you eat, the less likely you are to die."--(from heart disease or anything else).

Alderman has long been critical of the government's low sodium diet advice for large populations and their focus on sodium intake as it relates to blood pressure rather than to the overall health, quality and length of life of individuals. He examined the relationship between sodium intake and health effects in 3,000 patients with mild to moderate hypertension. In addition, his group measured sodium excretion, which is much more accurate than estimating dietary intake. At the end of four years, they found that those who consumed the least sodium had the most myocardial infarctions and other cardiovascular complications.

The reason for this is that when you restrict vital nutrients like salt (or cholesterol) all sorts of strange things can result. Low sodium diets can increase levels of renin, LDL and insulin resistance, reduce sexual activity in men and cause cognitive difficulties and anorexia in the elderly. Tasteless and dull low sodium diets can cause other nutritional deficiencies. Lowering sodium with diuretics to treat hypertension can cause similar problems.

Renin is possibly the most powerful and dangerous blood pressure raising substance known. Indeed, the study done by Alderman's group found that for every two percent increase in pre-treatment plasma renin activity there was a 25 percent increase in heart attacks. No such correlation was found with increased sodium intake.”



Anonymous said...

Chronic non-communicable diseases – diabetes, cancer and cardiac arrests are some of the main causes of deaths around the world. It seems in each of these diseases, diet can play an important factor both as a causal factor and recuperative agent. In spite of the difficulties in setting up randomised controlled trials (the gold standard of experimental trials) it is an area crying out for a systemic review of dietary advice.


Ally999 said...

Again though, although very interesting, this article does not address the type of salt consumed and it's effect on the body. Refined salt - sodium chloride and chemical additives, is far removed from unrefined sea salt with it's plethora of buffers and support minerals and trace elements. Perhaps those who are 'salt-sensitive' might not be so sensitive to the real McCoy..... Now that would make an interesting study.....

Anonymous said...

Whilst it is true excessive dietery salt can cause health care problems. This is a very important nutrient. Where did the recommended dietery guidance come from? Was this from the same people who said that a woman should eat 2000 calories, or that a woman should not consume more than 20 units of alcohol a week.