PHYSIOLOGY & SALT
Ancient Man, the 'hunter-gatherer'
had to take in salt daily to stay alive, and in order to balance his water intake.
He found it in the blood of his prey. Personal
physiological need is 5-10 grams a day and is only calculated for
replacing personal daily losses. Agricultural man, consumed up to 150
grams a day, including additional uses of salt for many other urgent new necessities like
tanning of leather, glass, and not least, 'sacrificial' ritual and meat
preservation.... Today the USA consumption per capita, is well over 500 grams per day
including all industrial uses. Modern man might be said to be 'drugged' on salt .
With the invention of refrigeration, salting meat in
particular has greatly been reduced and modern man has been oblivious of a general
personal reduction of salt intake This has exposed the body to the marginal dangers of a
minimal salt diet. The dangers of increases in blood pressure, may now be blamed on
this minimal diet, making any sudden additional hidden salt intake, cause loss of control
of the delicate balance of a low salt diet.
pace of modern man's life there is now a case, for advocating an
"excessive" salt intake which will protect the body from the salt
level fluctuations of low salt diet and hypertension. Daily
cultural and adrenalin based shock
constantly pounds our secretion systems .
In the last fifty years preserving and freezing of previously salted meat products in
particular may have reduced the salt intake content to very
Since our 'grey cell' activity also relies on cerebral
electrical and chemical stimulation, a consistent sodium level above a marginal level, may
not be a bad thing. Jewish populations in pre-war 'shtetles' in eastern
Europe, in spite of desperate conditions always had their 'kosher' salted meat diet, and
always seemed to produce a genius or two.
PHYSIOLOGICAL NEED FOR 5/10 GRAMS A DAY
It is common knowledge that the
blood of animals is saline, that is it contains sodium chloride in solution, and in
addition contains smaller quantities of ions of other elements. Of the non-electrolytes
most are manufactured by the body and some can be stored, for example, fats. But
electrolytes like sodium chloride cannot be stored nor can they be manufactured in the
body. They must be taken in with food. Some of them are needed in such small quantities
that they are obtainable from almost any diet; sodium and potassium salts, however, are
needed in greater quantity.
The chemical requirements of
the human body demand that the salt concentration in the blood be kept
constant. If the body does not get enough salt, a hormonal mechanism
compensates by reducing the excretion of salt in the urine and sweat. But
it cannot reduce this output to zero. On a completely salt-free diet the
body steadily loses small amounts of salt via the kidneys and sweat
glands. It then attempts to adjust this by accelerating its secretion of
water, so that the blood’s salt concentration can be maintained at the
vital level. The result is a gradual desiccation of the body and finally
Salt in Vegetables
Plants have much more potassium than
sodium, so that potassium hunger is unknown except in extreme starvation. There remains
the need for sodium as sodium chloride, or common salt. A complex hormone mechanism
ensures that the proportion and concentration of salts in the blood remain constant. If a
man eats too much salt he excretes what is not needed. If he takes in too little the
mechanism makes the body excrete more water in order to keep the salinity constant. If
this is taken to extremes the body is desiccated and death results. The same control
mechanism operates when a man takes in tool little water, for he excretes more salt and
less water. Death from salt starvation or from thirst are both aspects of the same
vital need for a stable saline environment inside the body.
Many experiments have been carried
out to establish the minimum salt requirements for men and animals. The results of these
suggest that the minimum amount of urinary sodium lost in twenty-four hours corresponds to
between 4 and 6 grams of sodium chloride.
Salt in meat [protein]
"Dwijendra Narayan Jha, a leading Indian
historian, argues that beef played
an important part in the cuisine of ancient India, long before the birth
Islam . It was very much a feature of the approved Brahmanical and
diet. The evidence he produces from a variety of religious and secular
texts is compelling.
[His opponents, including the current
government of India and
the fundamentalist groups backing it, have demanded that the book should
ritually burned in public. It has already been banned by the Allahabad
Court and the author's life has been threatened"]
Meat as a source of protein has arguably
been cited as an important component of man's diet, However it was
the salt content, whether due to the preserving
characteristics employed in sacrificial processes, or the blood serum salt
content of the animal before being drained from the animal which was
Regular Infusion of sodium chloride in solution
This salt must be replaced.
A man therefore needs about 5-10
grams of salt per day or 2-3 kg per year for mere survival. A community of 500 would need
about 1 ton per year. Clearly, anyone who can control the salt supply of community has
powers of life and death. The control of water, being more ubiquitous than salt, is not
simple to put into effect.
2000 Neolithic man was a carnivore and not, as American scientists
have claimed, a vegan, according to a new study led by a British researcher
In regions of the world where the population lives mainly
on meat or fish, there is no difficulty in satisfying this physiological need as animal
food provides enough salt. Salt-deprivation does however, become a hazard in vast areas
where meat is scarce and many depend primarily on a vegetable diet.
|Normal water losses in
grams per day per person:
|g/day losses in:-
We spend much
of our physiological "effort" keeping the precise composition of this salt water
constant ( "Homeostasis" )
important discovery of pickling was made at the end of the last Ice Age. It coincided
with the steep eustatic ocean rise that flooded the continental shelf, which was up to
then a rich hunting and fishing ground for Neolithic man. This sudden sea level rise
left very few flat areas
where salt crusts could form naturally or even within artificial low lying dykes. In order
to survive , Shelf man had to migrate inland and he succeeded in developing agriculture
and animal herding. Previously, hunting and fishing societies had found salt in the
tissues of their prey but under these new conditions, with and increased vegetable diet,
more mineral salt was needed to supply what was missing from their diet. In addition, pickling to avoid the seasonal shortage demanded
even more salt than the basic 5 g per day. An average of some 25 g were needed ,
calculated on a per capita basis , and this meant that survival and growth of
civilizations were often limited by the availability of salt. Efficient and extended salt
production became necessary .Jewish traditional
family processing hardly remembers the reasons for salting their meat protein and only
recently the invention of refrigeration has replaced the need leaving us with quaint
The increased consumption
of salt to ca. 30 grams,.. over and above the minimum physiological requirement, had a
striking result which
might be of some importance. This additional salt intake changed the bromine ratio in the
diet because crystallized salt used for food preservation has a chlorine-to-bromine ration
of over 2000:1, that is, it contains almost no bromine. As bromine has a sedative effect
on the human nervous system one might speculate whether the new circumstances of bromine
reduction stimulated greater activity and advance.
" It was not until mid-1988 that
medical journals began to publish the results of this massive effort, the Intersalt Study.
These findings showed a scant relationship between sodium and blood pressure. "Salt
has little importance in hypertension" headlined the accompanying editorial in the
prestigious British Medical Journal. The Intersalt researchers measured urinary
electrolytes and blood pressures in 10,079 individuals in 52 centres in 32 countries using
standard methods and analysing the samples in a single laboratory. The head of the
American Heart Association's Nutrition Committee and member of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines
Advisory Committee summarised: "We're trying to back away from our salt
recommendation without looking like fools."
Quote from......... Low urinary salt
levels linked with higher risk in men with HBP June 7, 1995 NR
Respected professionals take sides:
The results of an [MRBLOCH SALT Archive] investigation into the
correlation of the Cl-/Br- ion ratio in the body shows the regulating mechanism in the
kidney, counterbalancing the changes of salt diet, that retain bromides in preference to
ARCHIVE SUGGESTS THE REAL FACTS:
the BROMIDE / CHLORIDE ION
- Plants have a high Bromide content in their
- Any salt free diet has a relatively high
- Salt (NaCl) used as a condiment has little
- The bromide content of urine halogenides is
always lower than that of bloodserum [twice as low]
- The kidney reabsorbs bromide in preference
- Sweat and saliva, have a higher bromide
content, than blood and urine. Sweating causes more bromide losses than chlorides,
counteracting the reverse effect of the kidneys.
[from Bulletin of the Research council of Israel 1959 vol 8A
no 4] Bloch , Kaplan, Schnerb 1959
It would seem that people who sweat profusely
[as in hypertension] lose more bromides [perhaps we should forget about sodium squabbles
for a moment], causing salt [chloride ions] to increase in influence. The delicate balance
of Chloride ions to Bromide ions is regulated in the kidneys and compensates the losses in
sweat and urine.
Conclusion - eat salt - but together with plenty
of bromide containing foods.. Better still, eat Bromine rich Dead Sea salt.
NEWS "FLASH"- .....
Hyponatremia means a low concentration
of sodium in the blood.
MARATHON RUNNERS MUST MAINTAIN
Drinking too much water while running a marathon can result in death, according to
a new study conducted by UCSF researchers.
The scientists found that consuming excess amounts of water can cause the brain to swell
or can cause fluid to leak into the lungs, both of which can be fatal.
But in their study, the researchers also offer a cure: administrating salt water
Although marathon runners need to keep hydrated, researchers have found that only drinking
water can cause a condition known as hyponatremia.
In the past decade, scientists have
observed that runners who died during a marathon had lost the delicate balance of water
and salt normally maintained in the body.
Even though the runners had plenty of
water, they were extremely deficient in salt.
The results were published in the May 2 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
By Alison McCook
07/03/2002 NEW YORK (Reuters) - A new review of three deaths of US
military recruits highlights the dangers of drinking too much water.
The military has traditionally focused on the dangers associated with heat illness,
which has killed a number of healthy, young enrollees, Colonel John W. Gardner of the
Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner in Rockville, Maryland told Reuters Health.
However, pushing the need to drink water too far can also have deadly consequences, he
"The risk has always been not drinking enough," Gardner said. "And then
people who aren't medically attuned get overzealous," inducing recruits to drink
amounts of water that endanger their health, he added.
"That's why we published this paper: to make it clear to people that
overzealousness can be dangerous," Gardner explained.
In September 1999, a 19-year-old Air Force recruit collapsed during a 5.8-mile walk,
with a body temperature of 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Doctors concluded he had died of both
heat stroke and low blood sodium levels as a result of overhydration.
During January 2000, a 20-year-old trainee in the Army drank around 12 quarts of water
during a 2- to 4-hour period while trying to produce a urine specimen for a drug test. She
then experienced fecal incontinence, lost consciousness and became confused, then died
from swelling in the brain and lungs as a result of low blood sodium.
In March 2001, a 19-year-old Marine died from drinking too much water after a 26-mile
march, during which he carried a pack and gear weighing more than 90 pounds. Although he
appeared fine during the beginning stages of the 8-hour walk, towards the end he began
vomiting and appeared overly tired. He was then sent to the hospital, where he fell into a
coma, developed brain swelling and died the next day. It is unclear how much water he
drank during the march, but Marines were given a "constant emphasis" on drinking
water before and during the activity, Gardner writes in the latest issue of Military
In an interview with Reuters Health, Gardner explained that drinking too much water is
dangerous because the body cannot excrete that much fluid. Excess water then goes to the
bowel, which pulls salt into it from the body, diluting the concentration of salt in the
Changing the concentration of salt, in turn, causes a shifting of fluids within the
body, which can then induce a swelling in the brain. The swollen organ will then press
against the bones of the skull, and become damaged.
The researcher added that previous cases of water toxicity have been noted in athletes
who consume excessive amounts in order to avoid heat stroke. In addition, certain
psychiatric patients may drink too much water in an attempt to wash away their sins, or
flush out poisons they believe have entered their bodies.
In 1998, the Army released fluid replacement guidelines, which recommend a certain
intake of water but limit it to 1 to 1-1/2 quarts per hour and 12 quarts per day.
It takes a while for these guidelines to get "permeated out" to everybody,
Gardner admitted. In the meantime, he suggested that bases take notice of the mistakes of
others, and "not wait for somebody to die from (water toxicity) again," he said.
"You can't prevent everything bad from happening," Gardner noted. "But
when it does, you have to learn from it."
quote... University of California at
Berkeley Wellness Letter July 1995 The many reasons to cut back on salt
"The salt wars continue."
The anti-salt forces say everybody should go easy on salt. The anti-anti salt contingent
claims that sodium restriction as a preventive measure is "unnecessary and
undesirable," and terms the salt-restriction policies of the American Heart
Association and other groups "misguided"--a nuisance imposed on the American
public by zealots and bureaucrats who don't really know what they're talking about. The
anti-salt forces strongly disagree and point to new evidence that excess salt consumption
is linked not only to hypertension but possibly to other conditions as well--including
osteoporosis and some cancers. . ......"unquote
DALLAS, June 8 -- An unexpectedly high
incidence of heart attacks was found in hypertensive men with low amounts of salt in their
urine, New York researchers reported today. The study is the first to link different
levels of sodium intake/excretion with different levels of heart attack risk, its authors
say. The findings raise important questions about the low-salt diet that's widely
recommended for hypertensive patients, says Michael H. Alderman, M.D., senior author of
the study and chairman of epidemiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y.
No particular recommendation regarding salt intake is justified on the basis of this
single study, however, Alderman says. "Further research is needed to support any new
national dietary recommendations," he adds. Alderman and his colleagues at Albert
Einstein and at Cornell University Medical College in New York City studied a group of
1,900 hypertensive men for an average of almost four years. More than four times as many
heart attacks occurred in men with the lowest amounts of sodium in their urine, compared
to men with the highest levels of urinary sodium, the scientists report in the June issue
of Hypertension, an American Heart Association scientific journal. The AHA defines
hypertension as a chronic elevation in blood pressure to a reading of 140 over 90
millimeters of mercury or higher...........
National Center of Heart... For more
information, Email [email protected] http://www.amhrt.org/news/4286.htm
Salt is also known to be a great Aphrodisiac !
Pathophysiology SEE latest RESEARCH :Salt (sodium,
chloride) sensitivity http://www.medtext.com/hhesal.htm
Low-Salt Diet May Not Cut Heart Risk
More Deaths Seen With Sodium
Feb. 22, 2006 - If you're still reeling from the news that
low-fat diets don't seem to protect against heart disease, you may
want to sit down.
New research suggests that low-salt diets may actually increase
your risk of dying from heart attack or stroke.
Over a 13-year period, people in the study who reported eating
little salt were 37% more likely to die from cardiovascular causes
(such as stroke and coronary heart disease) as people who ate more
salt than is recommended by U.S. government guidelines.
Researchers were quick to point out that the findings fall far
short of proving that restricting sodium is bad for your health.
But they say the proof that salt-restricted diets protect against
death from heart and artery disease has also not emerged in the
years since salt was targeted as public enemy No. 1 by heart
Government nutrition guidelines now call for adults to limit
their daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams a day -- the
equivalent of about a teaspoon of table salt.
"It is increasingly evident that one size doesn't fit all when it
comes to diet," researcher Hillel W. Cohen, MPH, DrPH, tells WebMD.
"The certainty with which these [U.S. government] recommendations
are being made is just not supported by the data."
| 3 Next: Questioning the Data
Low-Salt Diet May Not Cut Heart Risk
More Deaths Seen With Sodium
1 | 2 |
Questioning the Data
The salt study is being published exactly two weeks after the
largest study ever to examine the issue suggested that restricting
dietary fat may have little impact on heart disease and cancer risk.
Last week, findings from the same federally funded study, known
as the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), also questioned the benefit
of calcium and vitamin D supplementation for preventing bone loss in
Cardiovascular nutrition expert Alice Lichtenstein, PhD, says the
WHI findings tell us more than the newly published salt study
because the WHI is interventional rather than observational.
That means that the women in the WHI trial were randomly assigned
to either eat low-fat diets or not, or to take calcium supplements
In the salt study, researchers from the Albert Einstein College
of Medicine looked back and analyzed data on the nutritional habits
of people interviewed between 1976 and 1980. Information was based
on people's recall of their diet.
"Observational studies like this one are important for helping us
frame the right questions to ask in clinical trials, but they don't
provide answers on their own," Lichtenstein tells WebMD.
In the roughly 13 years after the nutritional information was
collected, there were 1,343 deaths among the 7,154 people included
in the analysis, including 541 deaths from cardiovascular disease.
The researchers concluded that people who reported restricting
daily salt intake to less than 2,300 milligrams a day were
significantly more likely to have died from cardiovascular causes
than people who ate more salt, even after adjusting for total
calorie intake, age, smoking status, and other known risk factors
for heart disease.
The link between low-salt consumption and a higher risk of death
was not seen among nonwhites, people who were obese, and people who
were younger than 55 when enrolled in the study. But no single
subgroup appeared to benefit from eating a lower-sodium diet, Cohen
The findings were published online in The American Journal of
"Many things can reduce cardiovascular risk," he says. "We know
that getting people to stop smoking can have a big impact, and we
know that getting them to exercise seems to be very important. We
think prevention efforts should focus on the things that have been
proven to work."
| 3 Next: Salt Affects People Differently
More Deaths Seen With Sodium
2 | 3
Salt Affects People Differently
He adds that his study and the recent WHI findings emphasize the
complex relationship between the foods we eat and health.
"Some people may very well benefit from eating a low-salt diet,
but there is little clinical evidence supporting a blanket
recommendation that everyone needs to eat this way," he says.
Lichtenstein agrees that it is increasingly clear that salt
affects different people differently.
"There is a tremendous amount of data showing that there is a
wide range of individual variation in the response to salt," she
says. "The problem is we don't know who the hyper-responders are."
Lichtenstein is a professor of nutrition at Tufts University and
a member of the American Heart Association nutrition committee.
The AHA recommends not only restricting salt, but eating a diet
that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or
fat-free dairy products to lower cardiovascular risk.
Studies suggest that following such a diet can have a modest but
potentially important impact on blood pressure.
Lichtenstein lists not smoking, maintaining a healthy body
weight, getting plenty of exercise, and limiting the amount of
saturated and trans fats in the diet as the most important things
people can do to reduce their risk of dying from cardiovascular
"If people eat a diet like the one we recommend that includes
plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish, they probably
won't be consuming a lot of sodium," she says.
SOURCES: Cohen, H.W., The American Journal of
Medicine, Feb. 22, 2006; vol 119: online edition. Hillel W.
Cohen, MPH, DrPH, associate professor of epidemiology and population
health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y. Alice
Lichtenstein, DSc, professor of nutrition, Tufts University;
American Heart Association nutrition
CADUCEUS -THE BRAZEN SERPENT - Symbol of
[From Landow, Victorian Types, Victorian Shadows:
Biblical Typology in Victorian Literature, Art, and Thought (London: Routledge & Kegan
Paul, 1980). The Book of Numbers relates that after the Lord sent a plague of serpents to
punish the Jews for their lack of faith, Moses interceded with God and was instructed:
"Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is
bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live" (Numbers 21:8). John 3:14, in which
Christ proclaims "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wildemess, even so must
the Son of man be lifted up," taught Christians to see the brazen serpent as a
divinely authenticated type of the Crucifixion, but commentators also emphasize that it is
an image of saving faith. According to the usual reading of this type, the brazen serpent
in the wilderness, which God gave to the people when they repented of their lack of faith,
teaches man that he can be saved only by faith in Christ crucified.Commentators like
Thomas Scott emphasize that the brazen serpent is an image of saving faith precisely
because the actions commanded by God were themselves so apparently unlikely to produce any
beneficial result, and, similarly, without the eye of faith one would hardly think that
salvation could conceivably come from gazing with belief at some person suffering painful
execution. The commentators also remark that Moses set up the brass image upon a pole in
the midst of the Israelite camp, like a standard.
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