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Sea Salt is a
Tis the seasoning, Part I
The Tibetans are known for living long, healthy lives. But their longevity flies in the face of modern lifestyle and dietary guidelines that recommend we eat like rabbits, munching on leaves and grass to keep us alive and well into our golden years. The diet of the Phala nomads in Tibet is totally incorrect - scientifically and politically - based on milk, butter, cheese, sheep, antelope, yak, and practically no fruits or vegetables.
Perhaps one of the most interesting and notable aspects of Tibetan well-being is that their blood pressure averages are much lower than ours, yet they consume considerable amounts of salt.
Only about one-third of hypertension (high blood pressure) patients are sensitive to salt and have been found to have low levels of the kidney hormone renin, which regulates blood pressure. In these people, reducing salt intake raises levels of renin. So some, but not drastic, salt restriction may improve control of hypertension in these patients.
However, for the remaining majority of people struggling with hypertension who are not salt-sensitive and actually have high renin levels, restricting salt intake has the opposite effect and may cause blood pressure levels to become even more elevated
Salt is an essential nutrient, yet most mainstream physicians think of sodium as if it were some sort of poison. However, sodium works closely with other important nutrients like calcium and potassium to keep the body functioning at optimal levels.
I have a lot more to tell you about how all these myths about salt got started. I also want to make you aware of why table salt is utterly useless and what you should use instead. More in Tuesday's edition of Daily Dose.
Tis the seasoning, Part II
In the December 6 edition of Daily Dose I started telling you about the myths associated with salt and high blood pressure. I also promised to tell you a bit more about how this myth started. Here's the rest of the story.
In the 1940s, Wallace Kempner, a Duke University researcher, created the now famous rice diet for treating hypertension. Patients on this diet ate only rice and peaches. When their blood pressure levels dropped, researchers jumped to the hasty conclusion that the elimination of salt must have done the trick.
But, as so often happens in science, they overreacted and forgot about the problem of confounding factors that can completely negate the best-laid plans of mouse or man - especially man. These factors, such as calorie and fat restriction, exercise, potassium intake, magnesium intake, alcohol (increase or decrease, depending on the patient), etc. can cause a reduction in blood pressure (or an elevation) not related at all to salt restriction.
Salt is an essential element in your diet, and it is important that you get the highest quality just as with any other nutrient. In fact, studies have shown that salt restriction may be linked to organ damage. So let's talk a bit about what salt is best for you and what the food companies have done to make commercial salt a toxin rather than a nutrient.
Not all salts are created equal. Morton's salt is an industrial product made for the chemical industry, not your table. Ninety percent of this industrial grade salt goes to the chemical industry and the rest to the grocery store, and your dinner table.
Refined salt has been stripped of its natural nutrients. It contains additives like ferrocyanide and silicates (which are basically sand) to prevent the salt from mixing with water and caking, so that it will pour easily. But if the salt won't mix with water and your body is made up of 70 percent water, it won't mix in your body either.
The only salt worthy of your consideration is sea salt from a clean seabed. Don't be fooled: If the label says U.S. crude salt, it doesn't mean the contents are pure. Crude salt is unrefined industrial salt. It may be unrefined, but it has been mined from a source that is most likely heavily contaminated with heavy metals. Sea salt is the only option. Look for it at your favorite health food store.
Transcribed from www.mercola.com, Dr. Joe Mercola's newsletter.
By Ted H Spence, DDS, ND, PhD/DSc, MH
Salt, has been vilified and denigrated, despite the fact that it is essential to life. The Bible calls Jesus followers the žalt of the Earth ... not a criticism, but a compliment. Salt licks are essential for cattle to maintain health and they die without it. Cattle will walk for miles to get to a salt lick.
Now when I speak of salt, I am referring to natural sea (or rock) salt, not table salt, which is merely sodium chloride (NaCl). It is table salt that is responsible for raising blood pressure and causing heart problems. Sea salt (Celtic) is the best form and contains many minerals, like magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, chloride, sulfate, phosphate and many other trace minerals. Sea salt does not raise blood pressure and is very health promoting.
The importance of trace minerals and electrolytes on our health cannot be stressed enough. Gillian Martlew, ND states, Trace minerals and electrolytes are the spark of life, and without them we simply wouldn't function.
The terms electrolytes, ions, minerals may be used as other terms for salt. She adds, Electrolytes are ionized salts (minerals) found in body fluids and the blood stream. In solution, or dissolved and transformed in water, they can conduct an electric current.
The whole body is a bioelectric organism and the nervous system and brain also operate on electrical energy. Electrolytes are both the switch and the energy source.
Dr Bernard Jensen stated, All cellular structures become alive through electrolytic activity. Life begins with electrolytes. Trace minerals carry the life force in our bodies more than any other substance.
Salt adds minerals (ions) to our foods and enhances its flavor. Without salt, our body cannot make adequate amounts of HCl (stomach acid). With low levels of HCl, our digestion is impaired and we cannot absorb minerals. Minerals are needed for activating enzymes, and other important metabolic functions. Therefore, one can see the idiocy of taking antacids (or avoiding salt) which block mineral absorption.
Low levels of HCl can be translated into disease quite easily, for without minerals one cannot be healthy. Salt is also needed to maintain osmotic balance (water), to control pH levels and to help activate enzymes. Salt serves as a natural buffer for acidity and through osmotic mechanisms, salt helps to control the amount of water within the cells (intracellular fluid) and around the cells (extracellular fluid).
Gillian Martlew, ND stated, Electrolytes are essential to the production of enzymes, the function of cells, and in maintaining a normal pH balance in the body and digestive system. Electrolytes also maintain normal fluid balance including osmosis (the cell's internal and external fluid pressure), and blood pressure.
Jaques de Langre, PhD, in his praise of sea salt, states, ... the oceans give us a natural sea salt with the most exquisite taste and a physiologically-vital mineral mix. Today, every common table salt is artificial and sadly pales beside the real sea salt. Out of the richest spectrum of 92 essential minerals found in the ocean, the industrial refined variety retains only two! Debased white table salt deserves all of its bad name and all the misdeeds as charged.
Therefore, do not confuse common refined table salt (sodium chloride) with natural unrefined (and health-promoting) sea salt. He continues, Salt is the single element required for the proper breakdown of plant carbohydrates into usable and assimilable human food.
Salt as Medicine
During times of cold or flu one old folk remedy was the use of chicken soup with lots of salt. There is much science behind this remedy, because Jacques de Langre, PhD states, There are times at the onset or in the early development of an illness when extra salting of food, for a strictly limited period - no more than three days, salt is powerful medicine - will effectively counteract an illness.
Further he concludes, Celtic sea salt has countless medicinal uses. It can help in correcting excess acidity; restoring good digestion; relieving allergies and skin diseases; and preventing many forms of cancer. Natural salt provides a steady boost in cellular energy and gives the body a heightened resistance to infections and bacterial diseases.
Salt balance is also controlled by our adrenals, which use the mineralocorticoids (hormones) to maintain salt (electrolyte) balance. They control the reabsorption of sodium and the secretion of potassium from the renal tubules. Persons avoiding salt will experience low blood pressure, dizziness, chronic fatigue, poor digestion and hypoadrenal function.
Their digestive problems come from the lack of HCl, which we stated would cause deficient mineral absorption. Fatigue sets in when the adrenals become exhausted and anemia may result from deficient absorption of iron caused by the lack of HCl. Their ability to make energy (ATP/ADP) is hampered by the lack of essential minerals (ions) needed for activation of enzymes.
Avoidance of salt will create all of these problems in time, because salt is (despite other claims to the contrary) essential to life. Persons who avoid salt will suffer fatigue, poor digestion, low blood pressure, and possibly anemia.
Salt and Vegetarians
Jacques de Langre, PhD states, žSalting vegetable foods is a necessity; the benefits of a vegetable diet are canceled without the penetrating action of salt and its minerals.Ó
So why do some people and many vegetarians avoid salt? The answer to this question is found in another nutrient which vegetarians are commonly deficient in ... protein. Simply put, vegetarians lack protein and protein is needed to maintain osmotic balance in and around the cells.
Therefore, without adequate protein to keep the fluids in balance, ingestion of salt will cause edema and water retention. One should realize that it is not the salt, per se, which is the problem, but protein deficiency that is the problem.
Many people can ingest sea salt without having high blood pressure, water retention, or other salt-related problems, because their digestion is in balance and they have adequate protein available.
The elderly especially are at risk for lacking HCl, which is a key element for digestion and absorption. Yet, they are told to omit all forms of salt. Without adequate HCl minerals are not absorbed and fatigue sets in. If sea salt is used problems are avoided and they may salt the food to taste.
If one does have high blood pressure, then they are lacking potassium and getting too much sodium. Sea salt has a balance of potassium and sodium, which does not result in high blood pressure or other health problems. One great vegetarian lie is that plant proteins equal animal proteins. This is just not true. If it were true then vegetarians would not be suffering from cachexia and other negative protein balance problems as their body tries to rob its own organs and tissues to maintain protein balance. Strict vegetarians are losing their own body's protein since protein must be maintained in the blood at all costs.
Plasma proteins help to maintain osmotic balance, which means that fluids are balanced between the blood, the cells and the extra-cellular fluid (ECF). Therefore, proteins are maintained in the blood at all costs since their function is so vital to life. Loomis states, Because these proteins are critical for the maintenance of homeostasis they must be maintained in the blood at all costs.
At all costs means that the body will rob from its own tissues to maintain homeostasis in the blood. Cachexia results as protein is pulled from the less valuable organs and tissues - preserving the heart and other vital organs until the very last.
Cachexia is a well-known component of terminal or late-stage cancer, where the body is using protein to feed the cancerŪs insatiable appetite for glucose. But few people realize that cachexia is a common finding in strict vegetarians also, where the body is robbing its own tissues to maintain a balance of protein in the blood.
When the body cannot get enough of good usable protein it will rob from its own organs to fulfill that need. This is why strict vegetarians can be easily picked out of a crowd of people ... for they are emaciated, pale (anemic) and wasting.
If salt is given during this low state of protein, then edema will result, since the protein is needed for osmotic balance. Perhaps, this is why vegetarians avoid salt ... at all costs. Edema may be caused by disturbances in any factor that governs the interchanges between blood plasma and interstitial fluid (IF) compartments.
There are three disturbances (listed in Thibodeau): 1) Retention of electrolytes (especially sodium) in the extracellular fluid. 2) An increase in capillary blood pressure. And 3) a decrease in the concentration of plasma proteins caused by leakage into the interstitial spaces of proteins normally retained in the blood.
Thibodeau stated, Plasma proteins act as a water-pulling or water-holding force. They hold water in the blood and pull it into the blood from the IF.
Now we already know that too much sodium will contribute to high blood pressure, especially when the sodium is not balanced with adequate amounts of potassium. Guyton adds, Indeed, experimental studies have shown that at least three quarters of all the chemical [acid/base] buffering power of body fluids is inside the cells, and most of this results from the intracellular proteins.
Fat Soluble Vitamins
Salt is also used to emulsify fats. Our liver makes bile for that purpose also. Without salt in our diet, fats (and fat soluble vitamins - A-D-E-K) are not absorbed. Vitamins A and E are excellent antioxidants and are beneficial to keeping our skin and epithelium in good condition. Vitamin K is needed for platelet (clotting) function and vitamin D is essential for the proper utilization of calcium, one of the more important macro-minerals.
Deficiencies in either of these essential fat-soluble vitamins would only decrease one's health and would not be acceptable. Salt is needed to ensure the adequate absorption of fats and fat soluble vitamins. Jacques de Langre, PhD stated, "Salt is required to emulsify fats and oils in order for them to be digestible. Hydrochloric acid is produced only if chlorine is present in the right ratio; this can be assured only if natural sea salt is used.
Sea Salt for Radiation Sickness and Detoxification
Jacques deLangre, PhD, states, The daily use of natural gray Celtic sea salt protects the user by neutralizing fallout radiation exposure because it supplies organic iodine to the entire glandular network.
Also, proteins bind and detoxify toxic chemicals from the blood. Without adequate protein the body will become more toxic and more prone to disease. Protein deficiencies are common in strict vegetarians and can be readily seen in their physic, where there is muscle wasting and lost of body mass.
Therefore, rather than avoiding salt ... a healthy nutrient which our body needs .... one should ensure that they are getting high quality sources of protein ...., like turkey and fish. Strict vegetarians should not eat meat right away, because they cannot make HCl or the enzymes needed to digest it (which is why they avoid meat in the first place).
Rather vegetarians should wean themselves slowly using soups, broths and small amounts of high quality animal proteins. Eventually their cachexia will disappear and they will regain healthy weight as their health is restored and their digestive abilities return to normal.
Raw organic dairy are also good sources of animal proteins, and this includes cheese, yogurt, cream, butter and raw unpasteurized milk. Of course, this message may fall on deaf ears for those not willing to give up their vegetarian religion. The real questions are Is salt bad for you? and Are vegetarians really healthier? Another way of putting it is that if salt is bad for you .... maybe you are bad for you!
After studying this complex and controversial issue, my opinion is that (in healthy asymptomatic people) one should salt food to taste (not to over do it) by letting our body dictate our need for this vital element. Of course, for better health, one should discard table salt (NaCl) in favor of natural Celtic sea salt.
DRY BRUSHING BEATS DENTAL PLAQUE
Dry brushing brushing teeth without toothpaste may be a more effective plaque remover than brushing with paste, one expert says. This study found that 128 individuals who dry-brushed over a six-month period saw plaque deposits on their back teeth drop by 67%, compared with plaque build up found on their teeth before the dry-brushing regimen began. Gum bleeding due to gingivitis (gum disease) also fell by 50%.
One should use a soft, dry brush which seems to scour away built-up bacterial plaque better than a moistened one. If bristles feel stiff, relax them by running your thumb through them before brushing. Begin inside, finish out. The inner surfaces of the bottom row of teeth should be brushed first, before saliva buildup develops.
Proceed to the inner top level of teeth next, then move to the outer surfaces. The dry-brushing process should take about a minute and a half.
Use a dry brush. Blot the brush at a 45 degree angle at the gum line about 20 times in each area around the mouth. Start behind the teeth first. You can rinse or snap dry the brush after each area to remove the bacteria and parasites.
Then use a mixture of six parts of baking soda to one part of Real Salt or Sea Salt. Place in a blender and mix for 30 seconds then place in a container. Wet the tip of your index finger and place a SMALL amount of the salt and soda mixture on the gums.
Starting with the upper outside gums and then the inside of the upper, followed by the lower outside of the gums then the lower inside.
Spit out the excess. After 15 minutes rinse your mouth. This mixture is incredibly effective at killing the bacteria and parasites that cause plaque. Some dentist will even take a sample from your mouth and show you with a microscope the incredible difference prior to and after using this program and how it radically reduces the bacterial concentration in your gums. It is very important to improve periodontal health. And healthy gums means less teeth problems.