SODIUM AND SALT-EATING
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© January 2021, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Alert. April 2, 2018. We find that Hawaiian bamboo Jade salt, which was recommended some years ago, is still an excellent type of salt. We no longer prefer Real Salt or other brands.
With Hain brand of salt, use the non-iodized one.
Salt is a fascinating substance. It has been an essential part of the human diet for thousands of years. The English word salary comes from the same root as the word salt because salt is such a valuable commodity that at one time it was used as money.
The Bible mentions salt a number of times and Jesus called his followers “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world”. He meant they add great value to the world.
In fact, natural sea salt is a very healthful product that supplies many important trace minerals. It is also essential for rapid development. If one eats a diet of natural foods high in magnesium and only uses unrefined sea salt, most people will not have difficulty with salt at all.
Why some doctors advise against eating salt? The reasons are they are talking about table salt. We agree – table salt is a poor quality food.
Also, some people overeat on salt, especially if one eats fast food. It is often too high in salt because otherwise it would have no flavor.
Some people are also sensitive to salt. We discuss this problem later in this article.
What about mercury? It is true that sea salt has some mercury and other toxic metals in it. However, the high trace mineral content of the sea salt is so helpful for most people that at this time we highly recommend sea salt.
Brands. We recommend Hain (non-iodized) brand and Hawaiian Bamboo Jade salt. A brand of sea salt to avoid is Himalayan or Himalayan Pink salt.
WHAT IS NATURAL SEA SALT?
Natural sea salt is another name for unrefined salt. It contains not just sodium and chlorine, but many other trace minerals needed for health and development.
Sources. Most unrefined sea salt usually comes from salt mines. It is called sea salt because the mines were usually former sea beds. A few brands such as Celtic Salt are harvested from the sea.
This is a good product, but products harvested from the sea are higher in some toxic metals such as mercury that is found in the oceans today, but was not in the oceans as much millions of years ago when the salt beds were formed.
Effects. Natural salt is generally a very healthful product. Unrefined sea salt is an important source of minerals. This is especially today, as the food supply is mineral-deficient due to hybrid crops, modern agriculture methods and food processing and refining.
Unrefined salt has little or no effect on blood pressure. It helps maintain electrolyte and osmotic balance. It also has an alkalinizing effect on the body and is an extremely yang food in macrobiotic terminology.
The sodium it contains is critical for osmotic balance and to solubilize other minerals in the blood. Deficiency of sodium causes other minerals to become biounavailable and precipitate into the soft tissues and elsewhere.
All the above are very positive reasons to eat salt on food. Avoiding a quality unrefined sea salt is rarely necessary, and often harmful since it is a source of vital minerals.
We require quality sea salt for development programs. Most people tolerate it well with no adverse effects, when used properly in moderate amounts only. If you have a very high blood pressure, you may need to wait until you blood pressure drops, although a quality sea salt may actually assist in diminishing blood pressure by supplying vital minerals.
IODINE ENRICHMENT OF SALT
Iodine is a critical trace mineral needed by everyone today. Table salt has had its natural iodine removed, thanks to bad government food policies.
However, this caused so many health problems that today the government of the USA and other nations forces salt companies to enrich all table salt with iodine.
Unfortunately, they put back a toxic form of iodine that will build up in the liver if one eats enough table salt.
This is just one example of the insanity of the food laws in the United States and around the world. Unfortunately, other nations follow the lead of the United States and its horribly corrupt Food And Drug Administration.
One should ask, why is this allowed? The answer is that world socialist forces, an accurate term, want it that way. They want the people of earth unhealthy. Ruining the salt is an excellent method to accomplish their goal. This is not paranoia or conspiracy theory. Unless you understand it well, you will not understand the situation of food on planet earth. For details, read The Rogues Or World Socialists.
WHAT IS TABLE SALT?
Common table salt is a highly refined product and one of the worst junk foods. Most of its trace minerals have been removed, leaving almost pure sodium chloride.
It is an evil product that should be completely banned. Instead, it is the standard salt that people buy in the grocery store and the standard product used In almost all prepared food and in all restaurants. It is a major reason why almost everyone today is seriously mineral deficient and toxic with aluminum.
Its unbalanced mineral content actually causes more mineral imbalances and high blood pressure. It is too high in sodium and very low in calcium and magnesium, two vital minerals today that can be obtained to a degree from salt.
Aluminum poisoning. In addition, the corrupt laws allow refined salt companies to add aluminum to the salt as a “flowing agent”. Aluminum is a highly toxic metal associated with dementia and many other health problems.
Bleaching. Corrupt laws around the world also allow salt companies to bleach the salt with other toxic chemicals to whiten it.
OLD SALT AND NEW SALT
When choosing a natural sea salt, we have a choice of two basic types, and both have advantages and disadvantages:
Old salt. Salt that comes from a salt mine may be called old salt. It was “made” often millions of years ago when a seabed dried up. This salt has the advantage that it was made when the earth was less polluted with toxic metals. As a result, it tends to be lower in mercury and other toxic metals.
New salt. This is salt that is made fresh from seawater. The advantage of this salt is that it may contain a few minerals that are sometimes low in the older or salt mine salt.
However, this salt will have more toxic metals in it because the earth is more polluted today with mercury, cadmium, lead and other toxic metals. This salt may also be contaminated with toxic chemicals that are in the sea water today. Examples of new salt are Celtic Salt and some others.
Which one to use. In general, we prefer the old salts from salt mines because it is cleaner. However, it is okay to switch off now and then and eat some new salt, as well.
When to salt food? We suggest salting your food just before eating it. In other words, cook without salt. Add some salt when serving or eating your food.
HOW MUCH SALT TO EAT
Most adults can eat up to 2000 mg of unrefined sea salt daily. Children need less, depending on their size and weight.
SALT AND MAGNESIUM
One of the most important minerals missing from refined table salt is magnesium. Magnesium is required for over 1000 enzymes in our bodies, and is deficient in most people's diets.
Magnesium is sadly missing from most refined foods. Milling wheat to make white flour removes 85% of the magnesium. Refining sugar cane to make white sugar removes 98% of the magnesium. White flour, white sugar and refined table salt are unfortunately “staples” of the American diet and more and more common in other nations as well.
Magnesium has a balancing effect on sodium. Magnesium has a relaxing influence on the heart, which is one reason a shot of magnesium it is often the first “drugs” given during a heart attack. (It is not a drug!).
Magnesium and blood pressure. The blood pressure-raising effect of table salt can be due to its high content of sodium without enough magnesium to balance it. This has a magnesium-lowering effect that can constrict the arteries and raise blood pressure.
Sea salt contains plenty of magnesium, which is why it usually does not affect blood pressure at all, or does so much less than table salt. Also, if one's magnesium intake is adequate because one has other food sources of magnesium, salt-eating will have less effect or no effect on blood pressure.
However, most people do not eat enough magnesium. This is the reason why everyone on a development program receives a magnesium supplement.
ARE THE MINERALS IN SALT BIOLOGICALLY AVAILABLE?
Some people claim that since salt is not a live food like a plant or animal, one cannot obtain the minerals from salt. This is not true. The minerals may not be as bioavailable as they are in foods. However, the body can use sodium chloride in sea salt. It also has the ability to chelate or bind inorganic trace minerals and then absorb them, especially those found in sea salts.
For this reason, eating some sea salt every day is a very important and necessary means of supplementing one’s mineral intake. We also recommend a digestive aid that contains pancreatin and ox bile to assist with mineral and other nutrient absorption.
SODIUM AND SALT IN THE AMERICAN DIET
Sodium sources. Many natural foods contain sodium. Excellent sources are vegetables of all kinds such as carrots and beets. Red meat, poultry, eggs and fish are also excellent sources. Kelp is another excellent natural source.
Refined foods are often deficient in natural sodium, but are loaded with refined salt. Many refined foods are bland or even tasteless because of the poor quality of their ingredients. In an effort to improve the taste or cover up the lack of taste, table salt is often added in great quantity.
Junk foods particularly laden with refined salt. Among the most salt-laced junk foods are French fries, potato chips, some pastries, salted fish, processed meats, relishes and canned soups. Many other refined foods contain a surprising amount of refined table salt.
Since the same foods are magnesium-deficient, the combination is very unhealthful and not surprisingly can cause problems, especially if eaten repeatedly.
An exception. Development today requires some of the chemicals that are found in blue corn tortilla chips. Look for ones that contain sea salt. I hope more chip companies will move in this direction, as the sea salt is a much healthier product.
Salt sensitivity. If the tissue sodium level is elevated on a tissue mineral test, one may be somewhat salt sensitive. This is usually due to the presence of toxic metals or toxic chemicals in the kidneys, pituitary or adrenal glands. It goes away when the toxic substances are removed from the body.
Other more rare reasons for sea salt sensitivity include a hormone-secreting adrenal tumor or Cushing’s disease.
WHAT TO DO IF ONE IS SALT-SENSITIVE
1. Avoid table salt completely. Everyone should avoid table salt. Eating in restaurants and eating prepared and refined foods can be a problem because table salt is hidden in many dishes. One can ask in some restaurants for low sodium or sodium-free meals.
2. Begin a development program to remove toxic metals and restore a balanced body chemistry. Salt sensitivity usually indicates that a person has excessive levels of toxic metals or a fast oxidation rate. In fact, most everyone has excessive levels of toxic metals, regardless of whether they are revealed on tests or not.
To remove all toxic metals, a development program is the best method we know of. It is much better than chelation therapy, for example. For details, read Chelation.
3. Many salt-sensitive people can tolerate some unrefined sea salt.
4. Eat only natural and unrefined grains and no white sugar or white flour. This way one will obtain significantly more magnesium from food, which may help reduce salt sensitivity.
5. Supplement with magnesium. Taking a magnesium supplement may reduce salt sensitivity. Magnesium is very safe. Everyone who follows a development program takes a magnesium supplement.
Excessive amounts will cause diarrhea. Some physicians give magnesium to bowel tolerance, but we believe this is excessive and not needed.
Quality magnesium supplements include chelates, citrates, aspartates and orotates. Magnesium glycinate is somewhat toxic.
ADDING SALT TO DRINKING WATER
Never do this! It is a “detoxification procedure” that I do not endorse at all. It is quite dangerous, in fact, though it starts out harmlessly enough.
Adding salt to drinking water will cause the removal of a few toxic metals by an osmotic mechanism. The problem is that it may also remove vital or essential minerals slowly and insidiously. It can also subtly dehydrate the body. It also upsets the digestion. Therefore, I do not recommend this procedure at all.
EATING SALT ALONE
Please do not just eat salt by itself. It is irritating. Sprinkle a little salt on your food instead.
The sodium level in the blood serum usually remains in a narrow range, even when significant pathology is present. This is not true of sodium in the hair tissue. Here sodium ranges from a low of 1 or 2 mg% to several hundred mg%. This is one of the major reasons we use this test to assess the condition of the body.
Low sodium on hair mineral tests. Most people's hair analyses reveal low levels of sodium. We find this is not usually related to salt intake, but is instead the result of depleted and toxic adrenal glands.
Aldosterone secreted by the adrenals causes sodium retention in the tissues. When aldosterone secretion is somewhat low due to depleted or toxic adrenal glands, then the hair tissue sodium level tends to be low.
This condition is called adrenal insufficiency, adrenal fatigue, adrenal exhaustion or adrenal burnout. We use these terms interchangeably. Some holistic doctors rate adrenal exhaustion in various ways according to various tests. Using hair mineral testing, we assess burnout indicators. On a single hair test, there can be 10 or more of them! For details, read Adrenal Burnout.
It is extremely unfortunate that medical doctors do not assess adrenal gland insufficiency unless it is extreme. As a result, they tell millions of people that they are “healthy”, which this is not the truth.
Doctors who are wedded to the use of blood tests usually can only identify adrenal problems if they are very extreme, in which case they call the condition Addison’s disease. We find this diagnosis often responds well to a development program and that drug therapy for life is not required.
Blood tests are not as helpful to reveal mild adrenal gland insufficiency. Some day, we hope all doctors will use hair testing, an inexpensive and non-invasive test that clearly shows a number of adrenal imbalances. Hair samples must not be washed at the laboratory for accurate sodium and potassium readings.
Slow oxidation and low blood pressure. An important hair tissue mineral pattern characterized by low tissue sodium and potassium is called slow oxidation. These individuals often crave salt and salty foods. For details, read Slow Oxidation and The Oxidation Types.
Some people have a low blood pressure, in part due to low tissue and perhaps low serum sodium that contributes to a low blood volume.
Low blood pressure may also be due to underactivity of the adrenal glands. Adrenal hormones cause constriction of the arteries, which raises blood pressure.
Later in life, the blood pressure often rises due to obesity and due to clogging of the arteries with calcium and fatty plaques. These conditions are called arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis.
Sea salt particularly helpful for slow oxidizers. Consuming sea salt every day can help raise the sodium level slightly in slow oxidizers because these individuals lose too much sodium in the urine. Consuming sea salt is strongly recommended for these people unless they are salt-sensitive due to other pathology.
However, to permanently and significantly raise their tissue sodium, they must improve their adrenal gland activity.
SODIUM AND FAST OXIDATION
Some people have an elevated hair tissue sodium level. Often, this is part of a metabolic pattern called a fast oxidation rate. It is seen most commonly in babies and young children. Most babies have a very high tissue sodium level.
Sodium and stress. In children and adults, a high hair tissue sodium level is associated with acute stress. Part of the fight-or-flight reaction is an increase in adrenal hormones including aldosterone. This raises the sodium level in the blood and tissues because it causes sodium retention by the kidneys.
The rennin-angiotensin system is part of this fight-or-flight response and also helps retain sodium in the body.
While a high hair sodium is normal in babies and children, it is not normal in adults. By adulthood, the oxidation rate slows down and the hair sodium level usually decreases below 25 mg%.
Adults with an elevated hair sodium level are in what we call a secondary alarm reaction or secondary stress pattern. It is temporary and often associated with excessive levels of toxic metals in the body.
Excessive sympathetic nervous system activity may also affect the adrenal glands and raise the hair sodium level. For details, read Fast Oxidation.
Toxic metals and sodium levels. The presence of toxic metals, especially cadmium, mercury, lead, arsenic, copper, manganese, iron, nickel or aluminum can raise the hair sodium level. This is due to a toxic effect on the kidneys.
These metals can irritate the kidneys and adrenals. Physiological forms of the minerals manganese and iron do not have this effect very much. The problem is usually the presence of an oxide form of these and other minerals that is quite common today. We call the oxide form the amigos or irritants. For details, read Iron, Manganese and Aluminum – The Amigos.
Most often, the hair sodium level diminishes when a person’s toxic metals and the toxic forms of manganese and iron are eliminated from the body. At the same time, edema or swelling of the tissues often disappears and the blood pressure often decreases if it was elevated.
SODIUM AND THE GUIDE CREATURES
When one or more guide creatures returns to a person, which can occur if one follows the development program carefully, the hair sodium level may rise quickly and sharply. This is an elimination of toxic forms of sodium from the body and is very positive. For more details, read Controllers And Other Guide Creatures.
PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF SODIUM
Dr. Paul Eck called sodium the volatility mineral. People with a high tissue sodium level often have a volatile or elevated blood pressure and their personality may also be volatile. Elevated tissue sodium is related to the alarm stage of stress, also called a fight-or-flight reaction.
Sodium is more yang in macrobiotic terminology. Yang is the quality of being warm, hard, contracted, often a crystalline structure, and moving in a centripetal direction.
People with a high level of sodium in relation to potassium are often leaders, starters, pioneers, outgoing, active and positive. When sodium is in excess, they may become volatile, angry or paranoid.
Low tissue sodium is associated with fatigue, weakness, lethargy and depression.
A product related to table salt is monosodium glutamate or MSG. This food additive is widely used as a flavor enhancer in thousands of prepared foods. It is also used widely in Chinese cooking, soups and other processed foods.
It causes headaches and other symptoms in many people. Glutamic acid is a pro-inflammatory amino acid. The sodium in MSG is not balanced by magnesium or other trace minerals, so it too has a pro-inflammatory effect.
If one is deficient in magnesium, the effect is even worse. We suggest avoiding all monosodium glutamate. For more details, read MSG.