JCC Wait a second! Sodium is GOOD for you? Restricting salt may be BAD for you? Wha?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Souderwan, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    True story My father died from heart failure within 2 yrs of going on a sodium-restricted diet. Correlation =! causation, but I never considered that the thing that was ostensibly to extend his life might actually have helped end it.

    Washington, DC, Jan. 24, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) has warned the FDA that plans for salt restriction pose a health threat to Americans of all ages, in comments submitted to the agency yesterday.

    The Weston A. Price Foundation is a non-profit nutrition education foundation dedicated to accurate scientific information about diet and health. Last year, WAPF led the criticism of the USDA 2010 dietary guidelines.

    WAPF noted that by entitling their document "Approaches to Reducing Sodium Consumption," the FDA has signaled that it has already decided that Americans? sodium consumption should be reduced. But neither history nor the scientific evidence support this approach.

    "A study from 1991 indicates that people need about one and one-half teaspoons of salt per day," says Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. "Anything less triggers a cascade of hormones to recuperate sodium from the waste stream, hormones that make people vulnerable to heart disease and kidney problems. This is proven biochemistry. Yet, FDA as well as USDA want to mandate drastically restricted sodium consumption at about one-half teaspoon per day."

    WAPF testimony noted that salt plays a critical role in body physiology and brain function. In the elderly, lack of salt is associated with increased hip fractures and cognitive decline; low salt diets in growing children predisposes to poor neurological development.

    Proposals to restrict salt cite benefits to hypertension. But only 30 percent of the population experiences a slight reduction in blood pressure on a salt restricted diet, while 70 percent show no benefit.

    "These statistics don't justify a population-wide policy of salt reduction," says Fallon Morell

    Recent studies show a correlation of salt restriction with increased heart failure and with insulin resistance leading to diabetes. Studies show that even modest reductions in salt cause an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Higher incidence of inflammatory markers and altered lipoproteins are also found by researchers evaluating those on salt reduced diets. These factors are precursors to metabolic syndrome, which predicts heart problems and diabetes.

    Both sodium and chloride, the components of salt, are needed for digestion. These elements form the basis of cellular metabolism and our only source of adequate intake is salt.

    The Foundation also cautions the FDA that salt reductions will increase food safety risks. Salt is a traditional food preservation medium with an excellent track record. Artisan cheeses, preserved meats like salami and traditional pickled foods like sauerkraut require salt to prevent contamination by pathogens.

    "Our biggest concern is that with FDA dictates against salt, manufacturers will add imitation salt flavors like Senomyx to processed foods," says Fallon Morell. "Marketed as a food, so it does not require testing, and added in amounts so small that is does not need to be labeled, this neurotropic compound can interfere with our natural taste for salt, leading to severe deficiencies. Or, people will become obese as they eat more and more, trying to satisfy the body?s need for salt."

    The Weston A. Price Foundation fully referenced commentary is posted at http://www.westonaprice.org/images/pdfs/wapf-comments-fda-salt.pdf.
  2. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 26, 2000
    star 7
    Umm... how exactly is this news?
  3. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    Yeah, who cares about medical discoveries? JK Rowling's new book is much more important news.
  4. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 6
    no harpuah i think she means that it (should be) p well known that your body needs salt just not a **** ton of it
  5. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    should vs is, etc etc etc
  6. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 26, 2000
    star 7
    Yeah, what Rogue_Ten said - that's not what I meant. ;)

    I've always thought it was common knowledge that sodium is very important for one's health - but not if you take too much of it. Neither extreme (too much sodium, or too little sodium) is good for one's health.
  7. Piltdown Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2002
    star 5
    Next Americans will be discovering that a Grande Low Fat No Whip Mochalatetino is not a healthy alternative to breakfast.

    Baby steps.
  8. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    It takes a tremendous effort to reduce salt intake to levels where it could possibly become a health issue. If you eat almost any processed foods whatsoever, they are loaded with salt. You can get 15% of your salt needs from a typical slice of bread.

    For most people, if you never used a salt shaker again in your life, you will still get far more salt than your body can productively use.
  9. AaylaSecurOWNED Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 6
    And why was he put on the sodium-restricted diet in the first place?
  10. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 7
    All of these discoveries in a society full of genius. I found an advert in a pile of old mail saying I should build my house with asbestos, so that's what I did. I haven't kept up with any modern developments, this asbestos stuff has turned out to be as good as advertised.
  11. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    Oh. I forgot how smart the JCC was. Well, I'll highlight the news to me:

    I certainly didn't know about that 1991 study or the recommended levels or that the FDA was interested in lowering the level to something much less. But I'm obviously not as well-informed as I should be.

    This was a big surprise to me. I was under the mistaken impression that the relationship between salt intake and hypertension was much better established and more causal. If you'd asked me before I read this article, I would have guessed that the reduction in salt would have had a dramatic impact on hypertension and that this would be seen in more like 70% of people.

    He was at risk for hypertension (overweight and his parents had hypertension). He was borderline and the doctor encouraged him to shift to a low sodium diet as a preventative measure. My mother became somewhat of a salt-Nazi around him for the last 2 yrs of his life. I don't actually attribute his death to the reduction in salt as it could have been any number of things, his weight being one of them. What was surprising to me was that the benefits of reducing his salt intake were not better established than I was led to believe at the time.
  12. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    To be fair, citing a single study from twenty years ago isn't all that impressive when you consider the literally dozens of scientific perspectives/studies/analyses published on this topic on an annual basis.

    This isn't to say they do or don't have a point. I wouldn't really know. But if your going to bother drop references, you should probably lead with something a bit stronger than that.
  13. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Speak for yourself. I live in ancient North Africa where salt is more valuable than gold!
  14. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    Who is the "your" here? Me? I just found the article interesting and shared it. I'm assuming you meant the organization opposing the FDA's recommendations?

  15. ApolloSmileGirl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 8
    If people that took in a ton of sodium drank more water, it'd be a lot better for their health.
  16. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    Drinking water contains sodium, Juli.
  17. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    Man, if I didn't know better, I'd be tempted to think dietary science is complicated and no one magic bullet solution exists for everyone.





    ... Nah.
  18. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    That doesn't really affect her point that most people's salt intake is disproportionate to their water intake.

    Souderwan: Yeah, I meant the Weston Price Foundation.
  19. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 6
    i wish
  20. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Because I'm procrastinating in grading thesis pages for my students, I ran a quick search for articles on sodium and hypertension. These are just the human-studies that have been published this year (RCTs and reviews).

  21. WormieSaber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2000
    star 5
    I think having salt in moderation is fine. I'm no medical doctor, but I think that common sense would say your body needs a variety of nutrients. I eat a lot of popcorn and I add salt. That is the only time I ever add salt to anything. Sorry to hear about your Dad.
  22. KissMeImARebel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2003
    star 4
    Everything in moderation. Too much salt is bad, but I can easily see how not enough would totally mess up your electrolytes.
  23. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I've been on hypertension meds for a year now. I asked my doctor about sodium intake and her response was that the opinion of medical science on the issue has fluctuated greatly in the 20 years that she's been practicing medicine, and that I should just not overdo the salt.

    Sorry about your Dad, Souderwan. :(
  24. mrsvos Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2005
    star 5
    I ate a lot of processed meats when a I was kid.
  25. Esperanza_Nueva Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2003
    star 6
    Thanks for the article! My mom watches her salt intake pretty closely, so I'm going to forward this to her (only because I love her and stuff).