Salt; the Good, the Bad, and the Evil. Finally It Is the GOOD!

Salt has been on the “bad food” list for some time now in the US and also in other countries, particularly in the UK. It ended up as “bad” because some researcher showed some correlation (incorrectly) that salt and blood pressure are correlated in a negative way, meaning the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure will go. This turns out to be an untrue statement!

Yes I know, some people are still low salt advocates, like Dr. Sanjay Gupta on TV who constantly discusses how bad it is but then he also discussed how bad other things were only to change his mind later. Thus his expert opinion is as expert as the opinions of those who tell him what to say. Please do yourself a favor and search out the information for yourself if you want to learn the truth.

By now there are hundreds of articles, blogs, radio discussions, that discuss how many problems reduced salt causes! Finally the UK also started to wake up and the first article was found about opposing low salt. There are too many articles in the US to post links to… just google them. But let me explain why the researchers initially considered salt to be evil and why now research shows that they were wrong.

When you take a handful of mice or rats and inject them with salt, guess what: they will be sick. They are not used to eating salt. They are mice or rats and not people. Then you feed a ton of salt to people without matching it with the necessary elements such as water and potassium, magnesium, calcium and yes, you end up with a bunch of high blood pressure people. You also study people who eat junk food all the time and you conclude that junk food is bad for them but you are only focused on junk food and not what else they are eating or drinking!

Well let me tell you why salt doesn’t cause high blood pressure: it is not salt but what you eat with salt that matters. Your body is over 70% water they say. That is incorrect. Your body is over 70% brine containing water, salt, and other elements of electrolyte. Taste your sweat; taste your blood, taste any part of you by sucking on your finger. Everything on you and in you is salty. How can something that is a key element in your body and how your cells function be bad for you? And let me ask you this: how can your body function without something that makes so much of your body that you can taste it whatever body part you put into your mouth?

It may seem like a crazy thing to reduce salt from the diet of people when salt is the only ingredient in our bodies that can actually hold onto water we drink. Eat no salt, end up like a shriveled up prune completely dehydrated. This has caused a lot of illnesses, such as the epidemic of migraines all of a sudden, fibromyalgia, and even more heart problems.

I had a discussion the other day with one of my doctors and he said “duh, the heart muscles need salt for their sodium-potassium pump the same way as all other cells in the body” but this was a pulmonary specialist and his wise words add little to a medical institution of general medicine or heart or migraine specialties where they believe salt to be evil and reach for drugs instead. Clinical doctors look at the heart as an object of working muscles; they do not see how those muscles work using sodium-potassium pumps. They do know those pumps exist, but they are blind to the effect what happens when salt is not provided and those pumps don’t work.

What is salt’s connection to migraines? It is in my book I linked you to: it has a lot to do with the sodium-potassium pumps that allow water to enter for the sodium and allow fresh sodium and fresh potassium ions to enter. Potassium is diuretic so it takes toxic water out whereas sodium is water lover so it holds onto water. Chloride–the other half of salt, which is sodium chloride–remains outside the cells and provides for the electric potential to occur so the pumps can work. Without salt (sodium chloride) there is no electricity, the pumps don’t work, the cells cannot open their “mouths” if you will and no water can enter the cells.

Low salt does the same with the heart. It also means that our cells–including the fluid around blood cells–does not have enough water and so many end up with too low blood pressure simply by the lack of water volume in the blood–not good. Lack of healthy blood pressure means the blood doesn’t reach your brain and you end up with neurons that cannot function, neurons that have not enough electrical charge to manufacture or release neurotransmitters–many of which happen to be serotonin (not always of course)–hence then migraineurs are pumped up with serotonin medications to replace what lack of salt caused. Serotonin drugs are dangerous… go ahead… have some salt will you? Trash your serotonin medications slowly though because stopping it can land you in the hospital in no time.

Unlike stopping salt, stopping serotonin can be a nightmare and may take 6 months or years depending on how much you took and for how long. So start your salt, drink plenty of water and read my book Fighting the Migraine Epidemic to learn how to dose your salt, how to stop your foods from triggering a migraine, and how to have a healthy supple well hydrated body! It also improves your immune system since that too was dehydrated and hydration allows for those cells to also function. And guess what: it also improves your skin! That is an added and completely coincidental benefit that dehydrated cells are also dehydrated on your skin causing wrinkles! So hydrate by drinking water and eating salt as well as the rest of the ingredients in my book for complete healthy mind and cells!

About Be Healthy

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist who evaluates changes in behavior, chronic pain, decision-making, as a result of hormonal variations in the brain. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention and treatment without the use of medicines. As a migraineur, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself. She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic mutations of insulin and glucose transporters, and voltage gated sodium and calcium channel mutations. Such mutations cause major shifts in a migraine brain, unlike that of a non-migraine brain. A non-migraineur can handle electrolyte changes on autopilot. A migraineur must always be on manual guard for such changes to maintain electrolyte homeostasis. The book Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: How To Treat and Prevent Migraines Without Medicines - An Insider's View explains why we have migraines, how to prevent them and how to stay migraine (and medicine) free for life. As a result of the success of the first edition of her book and new research and findings, she is now finishing the 2nd edition. The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraines, incorporating all there is to know at the moment and also some hypotheses. It includes an academic research section with suggestions for further research. The book is full of citations to authenticate the statements she makes to be followed up by those interested and to spark further research interest. While working on the 2nd edition of the book she also published academic articles: "Migraine Cause and Treatment" Mental Health in family Medicine, November 23, 2015, open access "Functional Prodrome in Migraines" Journal of Neurological Disorders, January 22, 2016, open access "Are Statistics Misleading Sodium Reduction Benefits?", Journal of Medical Diagnostic Method, February 3, 2016, open access “A Comment on Severe Headache or Migraine History Is Inversely Correlated With Dietary Sodium Intake: NHANES 1999-2004” Angela A Stanton PhD, 19 July 2016 DOI: 10.1111/head.12861 not open access, subscription is required to read it. Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in NeuroEconomics at Claremont Graduate University, and fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers. For relaxation Dr. Stanton paints and photographs. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook
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2 Responses to Salt; the Good, the Bad, and the Evil. Finally It Is the GOOD!

  1. Hi Angela, “moderation is the key” is what is always said for everything but for some people some of the time that is incorrect. In the US and also in the UK where they follow everything the FDA sneezes out, migraine epidemic is rampant as a result of such “moderation.” If you read my book Fighting the Migraine Epidemic, you will understand that “moderation” for people with migraine means about twice as much salt (and other things) and often even more than for people who have no migraines. So the term “moderation” is not very useful albeit I know that, as a doctor, you probably use that term all the time.

    Moderation can also not apply for sugar or sugar substitutes for diabetics.

    I think the expression “in moderation” should be wiped out of the dictionary and it should certainly be wiped out of the medical dictionary.


  2. Angela Grant says:

    Good article, I think moderation is key.

    Liked by 1 person

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