Shaking up the Salt Myth: The Human Need for Salt | Chris Kresser
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Shaking up the Salt Myth: The Human Need for Salt

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In the first part of my series on salt, I discussed the historical significance of salt and its role in the evolution of humanity. Salt has been a highly prized substance for thousands of years across all cultures and continents. Yet over the past few decades, excess salt and sodium intake has been blamed for a variety of serious health conditions plaguing our country, such as heart disease, hypertension, and stroke.

Much debate has centered around determining the level of dietary salt required to maintain optimal health, but over the years the suggested upper limit has continued to shrink. According to the CDC, the average intake of sodium for American adults is about 3,300 mg of sodium a day, which is well above the standard recommendations. (1) The USDA urges Americans to consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, and the American Heart Association (AHA) has an even more strict guideline of consuming less than 1,500 mg a day for general health and disease prevention. (23)

It has been theorized that dietary salt consumption was extremely low in the Paleolithic diet – approximately 768 mg of sodium daily – and that inland hunter-gatherers added little or no salt to their food on a regular basis. (4) We know these hunter-gatherer diets did not lead to the chronic, Western diseases we see today. The question is, does low salt intake by our distant ancestors mean that adding salt to our food is necessarily harmful? Should we adhere to the AHA sodium guidelines of 1,500 mg or less per day? Or is there a healthy range of salt consumption that can not only support but optimize our health?

Physiological roles of salt in the human body

Despite its recent bad press, there is no doubt that an adequate intake of salt in the human diet is required to maintain good health.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that healthy adults consume 1500 mg of sodium, or 3.8 grams of salt, to replace the amount lost daily on average through sweat and urination. (5) (Ironically, this recommendation is almost double the amount theoretically consumed by Paleolithic man.) The minimum physiological requirement of sodium simply to sustain life has been estimated to be 500 mg of sodium per day. (6)

Sodium is a vital nutrient. It’s a major component of extracellular fluid, and is essential for maintaining the volume of the plasma to allow adequate tissue perfusion and normal cellular metabolism. (7) Because sodium is used as an extracellular cation, it is typically found in the blood and lymph fluid. The maintenance of extracellular fluid volume is an important physiologic function of the sodium in the body, particularly in regards to cardiovascular health.

Besides helping to maintain fluid balance and cardiovascular function, sodium and chloride ions also play an important role in the nervous system. Changes in the concentrations of these ions allow neurons to send signals to other neurons and cells, allowing for nerve transmission as well as mechanical movement. Chloride ions provided by salt are secreted in the gastric juice as hydrochloric acid (HCL).  And HCL is vital to the digestion of food and the destruction of food-borne pathogens in the stomach. (8)

If a true sodium deficiency occurs, mammals experience symptoms of hyponatremia such as brain swelling, coma, congestive heart failure, cardiovascular collapse following acute blood loss, and impaired sympathetic cardiovascular adjustments to stress. (9) Animals in a truly sodium-deficient state will seek out salty food and often consume far more sodium than needed to restore homeostasis. (10) These behavioral changes in response to inadequate salt intake further demonstrate the biological importance of dietary salt.

Regulation of plasma sodium levels by the kidney

The kidney, when healthy, regulates sodium and water excretion using hemodynamic, neural, and hormonal inputs.  This allows it to respond appropriately to a wide range of dietary sodium intake. Aldosterone, a steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, helps regulate the balance of water and electrolytes in the body.

An abrupt increase in dietary salt can cause a redistribution of fluid from the intra- to the extracellular space.  But after a few days, the kidney is able to compensate with extra sodium excretion to match the dietary intake. Therefore, healthy people are generally able to adapt to a wide range of salt intakes without a significant change in blood pressure. (11)

If sodium intake drops too low, our metabolism shifts into a sodium-sparing mode.  This stimulates the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone hormonal system, which in turn maintains osmotic balance and adequate blood pressure. (12) A significant increase in renin and aldosterone is a symptom of sodium insufficiency, and has been shown to occur as salt intake drops below 1.5 teaspoons per day. (13) Interestingly enough, the recommendation for 2,300 mg of sodium equates to approximately one teaspoon of salt. An intake this low is associated with an even more rapid rise in renin.

Another important dietary determinant of this renin-angiotensin-aldosterone hormonal system is potassium intake. Our biological machinery (which developed in the Paleolithic era) evolved in conjunction with a diet not only very low in sodium, but also very high in potassium-rich plant foods. (14) Unlike our Paleolithic ancestors, Americans are consuming very low amounts of potassium: approximately 3,200 mg per day in men and 2,400 mg per day in women. (15) The adequate intake as defined by the IOM is 4,700 mg per day, and preagricultural humans are estimated to have consumed fully 10,500 mg of potassium each day.(16)

This modern reversal of electrolyte consumption is another important consideration in determining the population-wide increase in rates of hypertension. Dietary potassium has been demonstrated to dose-dependently counter the pathophysiological effects associated with modern dietary excess of salt, including salt-sensitivity, a likely precursor of hypertension.

Therefore, dietary potassium intake, in addition to the sodium to potassium ratio, may play a crucial role in the development of those diseases typically associated with a simple excess of sodium in the modern diet.

Evidence about human salt consumption

The human body has adapted complex physiological mechanisms in order to prevent blood pressure fluctuations in response to these variations in sodium intake. Not surprisingly, epidemiological data has revealed an average sodium intake range of 2400 mg to 5175 mg of sodium per day in developed cultures. (17) Certain isolated groups in areas such as Brazil, Papua New Guinea, and rural African communities have been found to live on sodium intakes of as little as 1150 mg per day. However, despite finding generally low blood pressure in these remote communities, the little evidence that exists on these low salt societies suggests shorter life expectancy and higher mortality rates.

An example from the Intersalt Study, which examined the impact of population-wide salt consumption on blood pressure, is the Yanomami Indians of the Brazillian rainforest, who are known for having far lower average blood pressure than that of Western populations. (1819) Their lifelong low blood pressure has been attributed to their extremely low consumption of salt, and this has been used as evidence to further support the effort to restrict salt from the American diet.

A major problem that arises from using the Yanomami as an example of the salt-hypertension hypothesis is the wide variety of confounding variables that may also affect their blood pressure. The Intersalt Study researchers admit that:

“In addition to low Na+ intake and high K+ intake, other factors that may contribute to the absence of hypertension and lack of blood pressure increase with age among the Yanomami Indians are as follows: their low body mass index and the almost nonexistence of obesity, no alcohol ingestion, low ingestion of saturated fat, high ingestion of fibers, relatively high physical activity, and the several cultural consequences of living in an isolated community without the psychosocial stress of civilization and without a monetary system or dependence on a job.” (20)

This data suggest there are many reasons the Yanomami have such low blood pressure.  These include high potassium intake, high physical activity, low stress levels, and complete lack of alcohol consumption. Furthermore, although the Yanomami have low blood pressure and nearly nonexistent rates of cardiovascular disease, their overall health outcomes are less than stellar. (21) They are described in ethnographic literature as having small stature, high mortality and a low life expectancy ranging between 29 and 46 years. (22)

Despite these high mortality rates and confounding lifestyle factors, the Yanomami people are still used as a prime example in support of the salt-hypertension hypothesis.

The results of the Intersalt Study did not indicate any clear pattern between the level of salt intake and blood pressure in those countries studied. (23) And when average life expectancy is plotted against the countries’ average salt intake, the trend shows that higher salt consumption is actually correlated with longer life expectancy. While this correlation does not imply causation, it is interesting to note the compatibility of a high salt diet with a long life expectancy.

As we can see, there is an enormous range in the daily dietary sodium intake of various cultures around the world, ranging from quite low (1150 mg) to fairly high (5175 mg). Additionally, we know that the healthy kidney is capable of adjusting to fluctuating levels of sodium in the diet in order to maintain fluid homeostasis. Finally, we know that hunter-gatherer and Paleolithic diets were very low in sodium, and that salt was rarely, if ever, added to food. Therefore, it would seem that limiting salt in the diet to those levels recommended by the AHA and USDA would not have any significant consequences, and would be an ideal dietary choice when mimicking the diet of our ancestors. However, evidence is mounting to the contrary: a low-salt diet may actually lead to serious health consequences and higher overall mortality, particularly in conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

In my next article in this series, I will discuss the contradictory evidence regarding the dietary guidelines for salt reduction, as well as the potential risks of consuming a diet too low in salt.

214 Comments

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  1. what exactly do we mean with “salt”? In chemistry, a salt is an ionic compound which is made up of two groups of oppositely charged ions. The ion with a positive charge is called a cation, and the one with a negative charge is called an anion. How many of each type of ion the salt has is important because the compound must have an overall electrical charge of zero – that is, an equal balance between positive charge and negative charge.
    Salts also have high boiling and melting points because it takes a lot of energy to break those bonds and change the salt’s matter state. Finally, salts are electrolytes, meaning they dissolve in water to create free moving ions, which are able to conduct electricity.

    Imagine the body having a sea like atmosphere. I recommend the Body Electric by Robert O. Becker.

    1/4t Celtic Sea Salt has 480mg, I suspend roughly a teaspoon in 12oz good well water and activate in the sun. I drink 3-4oz in the morning replacing coffee. This also includes rinsing my mouth.

    European hunter gathers actually have similar mortality rates in comparison to today. Albiet, birth rate controls are not factored in. It’s sort of a zero sum game in human population.

    • Sorry, but is this in dispute then? Has someone suggested that chloride is non essential? I don’t understand why you have offered these links. Do you feel people are unaware of chlorides role in the metabolism?

      • Conan I dont think its a dispute that’s not what discussions are about and we all know when we do physical activities well stop and lick your arm and taste what you taste. Salt I think we need it. Chloride sounds better than fluoride but I admit that’s my next browse I will not dispute anything but I myself will find out happy. Hunting

  2. This series of articles are confusing, is it safe to eat unrefined sodium “salt” or not?? can’t the “SALT” be defined more?

    Well, I need practical advice on whether Miso is safe or not. I suspect that in japan most things are as bad as in the US; way too much refined food. Therefor I would buy only American made Miso. Made with “sun dried sea salt”. But hey do not tell if they use Nigari; used in making Tofu, a very unrefined sea “salt”.

    I must find a chemical make up of Nigari.

    I worry about sodium because of being 66 years old and one heart attack several years ago. Maybe I should use a trace mineral electrolyte supplement drink for exorcise, called Electro-Mix that has no sodium or chloride in it (Only calcium, magnesium, manganese, chromium, and potassium) just to balance out the sodium in the miso?

    The question is what happens to the chloride when fermented in Miso?? Chlorine molecule separates, and kills unsafe germs? But then does the chlorine evaporate? Or transform some how?

    Their web site has a lot of research saying that it is very good and safe. Not that I believe any of it. And of course they say nothing about “salt”. Unfortunately I don’t trust any thing any industry says.

    Maybe I need a scholarly article about what sodium does, and what chloride does.

    • Isn’t Nigari MgCl2, magnesium chloride? I think miso is made with regular NaCl, sodium chloride.

      Also, the chloride ion is quite different from the chlorine molecule. Chlorine gas is extremely poisonous, but chloride ion (e.g., in sodium chloride or magnesium chloride) is essential for the body to maintain the acid/base and fluid balance of the blood, and for making hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

      Chloride ion does not evaporate from solution.

      • “chloride ion (e.g., in sodium chloride or magnesium chloride) is essential for the body”

        The chloride ion from NaCl or MgCl2 is not essential to the human metabolism. This is false information.

        The chloride ion in itself is essential, but not essential from either of the chemical compounds you quoted.

    • Yes refined salt is safe…. However it does not contain all of the minerals rock salt contains, refined table salts generally have added iodine to support you thyroid and prevent footers which cannot be added to rock salt. You can eat iodine naturally through green vegetables but not every one including me eats enough of these foods as far as I’m aware 🙂

      • Absolute rubbish! Refined NaCl is not safe. Try stomach cancer related to toxic NaCl for starters.

        Next check out neurological problems related to refined NaCl.

        • I suggest you look at all the stomach cancers related to NaCl…

          South Korea has the highest incidence of stomach cancer In the world. I often though it had something to do with their diet.

          Pickled vegetables/Kimchi = salt!!!

          Hmmm… ?

    • Just look at the nutritional guide on the back of a “Powerade” or “Gatorade” it’s mostly salt! Why? Because when the body is dehydrating it’s because your body isn’t maintaining it’s moisture level that is necessary for the brain and other organs to function! Hence why when seriously dehydrated you get lethargic!!! So you ingest “Gatorade” to replace your electrolytes! Clearly this article is about consumption of “good” salt! Natural Salt (if you will) I have never drank water tap or bottle, it’s just filled with serious amounts of chemicals!! FACT! I receive my water Naturally… through Vegetables and fruits, With the amount of my salt intake (which some would say extreme! The people who haven’t done their due diligence) I don’t sweat, which means i dont “stink” and i dont need to use toxic commercial deodorants! Ever! My blood pressure is consistently 114-116 over 65… this is considered “Optimal Range”
      So my best advise is to do your own Due diligence and be your own medical advocate!
      Happy Reading
      Sincerely:
      Healthy In Canada ❤

  3. As a person who has been diagnosed as having a very low sodium level I can tell you my blood pressure has been extremely low. This has lad to passing out for no reason at all. That had landed me in the emergency room for over 7 hours. Just to be told that I need to add more salt to my diet. They also added a sodium pill then upped it to two a day in addition to eating more salt. Passing out is not fun at all.

    • People in emergency rooms aren’t nutritionists and the easiest thing to say is add salt.
      If your sodium levels are low then juice a celery daily add a little beetroot, both loaded with natural sodium. Then check your bloods a month later.
      That way you won’t be potentially suffering heart problems 20 years down the road having ingested unnecessary salt, or NaCl, instead of the what your body needs at this moment is more Na. Salts are required, not salt, there is a massive difference.

      • Andora, I agree with you here and I see you are anti-salt. As i am. People confuse salt and sodium. There is natural sodium in pretty much every food, but adding salt (sodium chloride, table salt, pink salt, etc etc) is NOT healthy . It shouldn’t even be taken in a pinch amount. There are millions of people around the world that don’t touch salt and haven’t for years, maybe their whole lives and they are still alive and very healthy. I can tell you that from personal experience and going through serious health issues and done through every diet imaginable and limited my diet to single foods, one at a time, that salt was a huge problem. I added foods back into my diet, but salt was one of them that always returned my health issues. Its toxic and should be avoided at all costs. I personally believe that salt is worse than sugar. I may write and this and it may be taken lightly, but I have personally been through and researched so much information on this. Salt is bad, period.

        • You are completely wrong. Chris kresser’s research is not an ordinary one. To me meat, salt, water and little exercise are most important to remain healthy.

          • Obviously you need to study the toxic effects of NaCl. Try associated stomach cancer for starters.
            NaCl is not a requirement for the human metabolism either.
            Probably like most people, you don’t understand the difference between NaCl and electrolytes or *SALTS*. The human metabolism requires *SALTS* or electrolytes, it does not require NaCl

          • Josh, I am very impressed and encouraged by your comment.
            I am in a process to wean out of salt and struggling (of course).
            The simplest thing is that if a bull, horse and lion can survive without salt then why can’t we humans.
            I am a Hindu and in Hinduism, salt is accepted as the most impious of all edible materials and no offering are made to gods that contain salt.
            Help me by sharing your experience on the process of getting weaned from salt and also suggest dietary changes to be made (if any).
            I don’t want to die of a heart attack or become a cynical hypertensive.
            Warm Regards

        • Salt may be bad for you but not for others. Your statement should then be specific to your own situation and circumstances. Not as general as you have alluded. I personally have a different experience from yours.

          One man’s meat is another man’s poison. Your statement is therefore misleading. It only applies to your circumstances.

          Yes there are people with salt intolerence but this is an exception rather than a norm. Most people do not experience that.

          • You clearly do not understand the potentiallty destructive nature of NACl.

            I suggest you look at all the stomach cancers related to NaCl, I also suggest you familiarise yourself with the neurological damage caused by NaCl, after which you could acquaint yourself with the damage to Kidneys, nephritis would be a worthwhile start.

            NaCl a substance that people still erroneously believe is essential to humans This belief persists even among healthcare professionals that the human body requires some daily salt intake for health. This belief is false and dangerous. Although the human body requires sodium as a micronutrient, which is available naturally in sufficient amounts in unsalted food, it has no need for any sodium chloride whatsoever.
            What most people don’t choose to realise, after years of brainwashing, despite your attempts to claim that someone doesn’t know what is good for all, is that industrialised, mineral depleted, bleached, neurologically damaging, stomach cancer causing processed salt, including aluminium and ferro cyanide, isn’t good for anyone at all; but I imagine your trite castigation doesn’t allow for the opinion of the whole of mainstream allopathic medicine and informed alternative medicine.

            The argument that ‘salt is essential’ is untrue for everyone.

            The argument that salts are essential for everyone is true.

            Claiming someone else doesn’t know what works for others is irrelevant when it comes to universal consumption of known toxins, ie industrialised NaCl and its effects on the human body.

            I hope the correct grammar of the word salts versus salt is not lost on you, as it too applies to everyone, especially when you understand English language.

            As it happens anyone with a modicum of intelligence can recognize universal industrial, slow but sure, metabolic poisons, even if you are unable to do so.

    • I have low sodium in my blood test. When my body starts showing signs of cramping, I take a pinch of salt and am fine; doesn’t take long to act.

    • You should also have a CT or MRI to rule out other potential causes of your low sodium. If it gets too low it can cause brain swelling and seizures. This is serious!

    • Sodium levels in blood – must be near 140meq in the plasma or you die. Potassium in plasma is 3 -4 meq and near 130meq intracellular. If the K+ exceeds 10meq in the plasma you die. In the USA it was common to inject Midazolam and then KCL 10% to a murder convict.
      Hypertension is caused by factors leading to a high NaCl conc in the kidneys – not the oral intake as such. Circa 170L plasma is filtered by the kidneys per day – ie 23 Moles of salt!

  4. Also western populations consume a lot of sodium through the packed food which contains preservatives. This fact cannot be ignored. In India, food is mainly freshly cooked

  5. In India, during the last two years i have known two persons aged 86 years and 87 years who have died due to low sodium levels in blood due to low salt intake as they were influenced by the widely held opinion that low salt intake is good. They were healthy till 85 years of age. Then they experienced progressive muscle failure and finally they died due to muscle failure. It appears that low sodium levels may have something to do with longevity and muscle performance. Please throw some light on this angle

    longevity

  6. People primarily meet and exceed their sodium intake through the use of table salt, sea salt, and rock salt – sodium chloride. I think that poor kidney performance, chronic dehydration, chronic hyperuricemia, chlorine toxicity (via chloride intake), potassium deficiency, magnesium deficiency, and SODIUM deficiency are the main causes for the negative health effects researchers report for “high sodium levels.” I believe the sodium is there for a reason – to counterbalance the other above factors. It’s very likely that the negative health effects of chloride consumption matched with a saturating diet and dehydration are mostly what we’re seeing when we talk about high sodium levels – because it’s not natural to get 90-95% of you sodium by ingesting inorganic substances like table salt, sea salt, and rock salt. To test the theory, those who don’t have a problem with water retention or a history of kidney disease can attempt to correct a “high sodium level” by juicing or eating celery and cutting their salt intake to 1/3. Give it a try for a couple weeks.

    • Oh, but a healthy person with balanced body chemistry can benefit from small amounts of sea salt and rock salt in their diet. We’ve known that since before 3000BC. (See ancient health documents.) Just important not to overdo it, especially over a long period of time.

  7. don’t the Yanomami, like other tropical peoples, not really sweat? seems like that would have a big effect on salt needs.

    • “IV Salt……..the first thing they give you in the hospital.”

      I’ve been to a hospital and it wasn’t the first thing they gave me!

    • It’s also because salt is a common thing that can be dissolved in water to make it have the same osmolarity as your blood (preventing your cells from bursting or shriveling up)

  8. I personally think the mortality must not have only been due to lack of salt intake. There must have been many many other’s factor involved to their early life mortality. I mean the are hunter gatherer. Just imagine living your self in such situations or shall I say roaming in the woods. It could be an animal, it could be an insect bite, it could have been infection, etc.etc.; those thing could have been causes of early mortality factor. Or, it could have many something else.

    • “I think the mortality must not have only been due to lack of salt intake.”

      ++++++++++

      Precisely. Salt is not essential for human life.

      Sodium from plants or the animal that ate the plant would be essential.

      Chloride from plants or the animal that ate the plant would be essential.

      No one dies because they don’t eat salt. However they might perish should they never eat plant based foods or animals that ate the plants.

      • “Murder is the third leading cause of death among the Yanomami, after malaria and respiratory infections.”

        Ok, so … not sodium related related.

        • Someone suffering from chronic hyponatremia may have problems with mucus secretion and immune function. Hyponatremia leads to toxic buildup of normally healthy acidic substances, which can cause a lot of seemingly unconnected problems. Indeed, deficiency of sodium and its compounds in the body could weaken a person to the point of being more susceptible to disease. For a population of closely related individuals, there might even be a disease trend, because their bodies function similarly, especially if they live in the same environment. any nutrient deficiency can cause pretty much any type of health problem in the future – it all depends on their body and how it handles the problem.

  9. There is hardly anyone who would argue that when you feed the body with processed, denatured foods and drinks the body is not designed to utilise, the body would develop health problems sooner or later. Right? NACL is processed, denatured salt. The real natural salt contains sodium chloride together with other natural minerals in their right proportion. Proportion is the key. It is the way nature has made it and when taken at appropriate quantity has tremendous therapeutic effects in lowering high blood pressure, control blood sugar levels, etc. Why the sodium derived from plant sources seems to work better is because it has other nutrients with it in their natural ratio. If you extracted the sodium from plant and start using it without its natural cofactor nutrients, it has become denatured/toxic and will have adverse effects in the short or long run as well. Bottom line: everyone agrees the body needs sodium. The question is the source of sodium. If it is from denatured table salt, then the sodium isn’t natural and will harm the body. If it is from natural unrefined sea salt with its full compliment of natural minerals (about 84 of them), then you have no problem. If it is from plant source in its whole form, you don’t have problem either. But if in an extracted form, you have problem just as you would have if you got it from table salt. The body has been programmed to use edible nutrients in their whole natural form. Please you may also read what Dr. Mercola wrote on salt here. It is very informative: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/20/salt-myth.aspx

    • SEBASTIAN UCHEAGWU,
      Exactly. Your comment provides light amid darkness. This type of information can not be repeated too often or too emphatically, especially in the face of opposing financial interests, whose prosperity largely depends on continued ignorance and confusion, particularly among those medically and scientifically trained.

  10. “Non essential? i dare you to stop eating salt in any form to see what would happend.. do you know of something called HYPONATREMIA”

    As Vero’s castigation doesn’t have a reply box under it I have to start a new post to answer the common misunderstanding of the grammatical myth that salt is essential.
    Salt is not essential. but salts or electrolytes are.
    Daring me is history, realising NaCl or salt if you want is simply a preservative, condiment or seasoning, and that all the electrolytes the human body needs are in plant based foods, I haven’t eaten salt for years. I only eat plant based materials. Yes I get all the “SALTS” I need, potassium, sodium, magnesium, chloride etcetera etcetera from my diet.
    I neither eat or drink anything processed, and in the course cured a forty year old disease, which I was told was incurable.
    Obviously you Vero do not understand the difference between essential electrolytes (SALTS) and NaCl salt.
    Electrolytes are essential salts. Sodium Chloide or salt is non essential. The grammatical myth or usage of the word salt being necessary has made the industry trillions from people unable to understand basic English grammar.

    • Thank you for this comment. I was always so confused by that, reading article after article that said you need to consume salt. I always thought salt only ment NaCl and other salts like that. I never thought of salts as the individual electrolytes themselves.

    • Hi Samantha,

      I’d like to know what was the 40 year old disease that your non-processed food diet cured?

      • Asthma. The regime was very strict and I needed a massive incentive to simply eat fruit and raw or lightly steamed vegetables, plus veg juicing. Three months later no asthma. Observations, being a typical asthmatic on inhalers etc, is that the toxins in processed food alone can be the sole cause of what the doctors were treating as asthma.

        Obviously all the salts (electrolytes) my metabolism required were in the plant based food.

  11. I always have a low Sodium reading and have been told it is lost through the fluid part of my BP Tablet. my Hear specialist tells me to have more Salt because it can cause an irritable Heart. What would this be please?

    • Hello Bette, always difficult to comment on cases with small amounts of information. Maybe the diuretic drug (if you take one) drags water from wherever it wants, brain cells too, depleting sodium.
      I don’t know what an “irritable heart” means. If you are told to consume more “salt” because of low sodium count, then it is advice that is completely lacking in common sense.
      If you are low in sodium the worst place for some one with potential heart problems, is to get sodium from salt or sodium chloride. Some of the best natural source of sodium are in plant based foods. Celery juiced daily with some beetroot would be a good start. Industrialised toxic sodium chloride from processed foods is a slow but sure metabolic toxin.
      Even sea salts are mostly sodium chloride and any one with high blood pressure should use them sparingly if at all.
      Addiction to salt is as much a problem for the body as a host of other addictive substances. Good luck.

      • I read that only in about 7% of cases does a conventional approach to a low salt diet actually reduce BP. I tried a very strict reduction, but it made no difference at all, though I immediately looked a lot thinner. I think it may be useful to people with heart failure moreso than the Hypertensive.

        I like juicing with my Green Power juicer, and enjoy celery. Unfortunately a lot of it is pretty industrially polluted, and the organic stuff around here is pretty limp small, and expensive.

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