IOM Admits Sodium Reduction May Cause Harm, More Studies Needed
“The Institute of Medicine (IOM) today released a review of studies that examine links between sodium consumption and health outcomes. The review raises questions about possible harm caused by sodium reduction efforts and recognizes that blood pressure is only one of many factors that should be considered in evaluating dietary changes.”
Press Release (pdf 10.36 kB)
Getting the Right Fit
The latest research coming out of the University of Virginia may result in a paradigm shift in our approach to salt consumption. A team led by Dr. Robin Felder has demonstrated a quick and simple test to determine an individual’s sensitivity to salt . The initial studies indicate that about 25% of people experience increased blood pressure on very high salt diets and 11% develop the same high blood pressure when placed on low salt diets. The team went on to isolate the gene responsible for salt sensitivity.
Give Food Labeling the Red Light
The state’s attempt to colonise our kitchens by crudely labeling food ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is deeply unhealthy. By Rob Lyons for Spiked Online. Another example of how food labeling in Europe is being used to influence food choices poorly using politics instead of science.
Recipe For Safe Drinking Water
Add Sun, Salt And Lime. National Public Radio reports on how adding salt to dirty, bacteria infested water makes it clearer so sunlight can kill the bacteria and make it safe to drink in poor communities.
The Salt Stroke Myth
The Salt Guru uses the latest publication on salt consumption and stroke as a teaching moment to demonstrate how consumers are being misled by the knuckle-headed interpretation of data. In fact the study also shows that there is no link between increased salt intake and hypertension.
Proposed Tax on Salt: Unoriginal, Irrelevant, and Out of Touch
The Salt Guru goes after a recent paper, suggesting a tax on salt is nothing more than a repeat of several similar proposals made over the years that are irrelevant and hopelessly out of touch with the available scientific evidence.
Animated Video Tells Story of the Salt Guru
The Salt Institute has released an animated video explaining the background of the scientist known as the Salt Guru.
“We hope this mini-biography makes it clear why the Salt Guru has always been, and always will be, a defender of scientific truth, justice and the American way of life, seasoned with salt.” said Morton Satin, the Salt Institute’s Vice President of Science and Research, who is, in fact, the Salt Guru.
Wearing a white lab coat and armed only with scientific knowledge about sodium chloride, the Salt Guru has been creating informative and often witty YouTube videos combating “myth-information” about salt, an essential nutrient. Past videos have provided tips on such things as the surprising health benefits of salt, cooking with salt and salt’s impact on history and etymology. For example, did you know the Latin derivation of the word “salad” is “sal” and refers to salted vegetables?
In the coming months, the Salt Guru is also expected to tackle, among other things, salt and the Mediterranean Diet, how salt softens water, why emergency room patients are often put on saline drips and how to make gravlax, a delicious dish featuring salmon cured in salt.
Salt Institute Letter: Remove Risky Sodium Restrictions from U.S. Dietary Guidelines; Don't Treat 300 Million Americans Like 'Lab Rats'
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines on sodium should be withdrawn and government plans to regulate salt consumption halted because the process has been compromised by conflict of interest and a disregard for a decade of peer-reviewed scientific studies.
A 17-page letter by the Salt Institute delivered on Monday, Oct. 3 calls upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services to abandon the sodium provisions in the government’s U.S. Dietary Guidelines.
“The Dietary Guidelines on sodium should be withdrawn and all legislative or regulatory actions based on them reversed or halted in order to protect the health of Americans,” said Salt Institute President Lori Roman. “These Guidelines have made a mockery of the law through a process compromised by conflict of interest and a complete disregard for numerous scientific studies that point out the dangers of a low-salt diet. They are in violation of the National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act.”
“To survive and thrive, the body needs salt. That’s a medical fact. But the official food policy of our federal government aims to radically reduce salt levels, violating the medical mandate to `first, do no harm.’ We oppose 300 million Americans being treated like lab rats in a risky trial.”
READ 17-PAGE LETTER TO GOVT. AGENCIES (PDF) (pdf 454.41 kB)
New Study Points Finger at Genetics (Not Salt) as Cause of Hypertension
At a recent (Sept. 19-20) United Nations Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases, activists argued for global reductions in salt consumption as a strategy to reduce hypertension. But a comprehensive medical study recently published in the science journal Nature points the finger at genetics as the cause of hypertension.
The Nature study, confirming others like it, shows anti-salt activists are aiming at the wrong target. In fact, medical evidence is mounting that a low-sodium diet risks diabetes and premature death, among other harms. The Salt Institute calls on the UN and other government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to halt wasteful efforts to reduce salt consumption until it can conclusively prove a tangible benefit while demonstrating a low-sodium diet will not harm citizens.
“There is nothing wrong with reducing blood pressure as long as the strategy you use, such as increasing exercise or eating more salads and vegetables, has no negative consequences. Unfortunately, the salt reduction strategy being promoted at the UN Summit will have negative health outcomes,” said Morton Satin, Vice President of Science and Research at the Salt Institute.
READ MORE (PDF) (pdf 154.38 kB)
Salt Institute Honors Safe, Environmentally Sensitive, Storage of Road Salt
The Salt Institute is honoring 159 transportation facilities across the United States and Canada with its 2011 Excellence in Storage award recognizing environmental consciousness and effective management in the storage of winter road salt.
“These facilities have cleared a high bar in meeting our standards,” said Salt Institute President Lori Roman. “For example, in minimizing runoff alone, 10 specific requirements must be met. This meticulous care is well worth the investment, however, to protect motorists, the economy and the environment.”
Of the 159 honorees this year, 16 are receiving the award for the first time.
READ MORE. INCLUDING COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS (PDF) (pdf 216.55 kB)
Scientific American: "It’s Time to End the War on Salt"
Scientific American, the most authoritative publication explaining science for a broad audience, has analyzed recent medical studies on salt and reviewed more than a century of previous research to conclude, “It’s time to end the war on salt.”
An article written by award-winning science and health writer Melinda Wenner Moyer examines the history of hyped health fears about salt, dating back to 1904. A headline says, “The zealous drive by politicians to limit our salt intake has little basis in science.
”The magazine says often-quoted projections of saving as many as 44,000 lives per year if Americans would dramatically cut their salt intake “are not evidence” but “conjecture.”
Unfortunately, the federal government is using such speculative data to justify expensive efforts to reduce salt intake for the entire population, without knowing what negative health impacts that might have.Wenner Moyer explains “low-salt diets could have side effects: when salt intake is cut, the body responds by releasing renin and aldosterone, an enzyme and a hormone, respectively, that increase blood pressure."
The government, the article says, is creating “drastic salt policies based on conflicting data.”Citing medical experts who have done extensive research on the subject, the article suggests a better approach would have “the government sponsor a large, controlled clinical trial to see what happens to people who follow low-salt diets over time,” a move the Salt Institute has supported for years.