Misinformation About Salt: This Is The Truth!
When we salt our food, we rarely think of salt as a crucial aspect of our body in many ways. In particular we think it has absolutely nothing to do with anything other than taste and we certainly do not think of hormones. In this short post I would like to enlighten and clarify a few myths about salt and salt types and also hint at their importance and hormonal connection.
There are hundreds of literature on the Internet about the benefits of sea salt over table salt. This is myth #1. I would like everyone to know that there is only one salt on planet earth: sea salt. The fact that it may be called table salt simply suggests that some time ago it was clearly understood by all that all salt came from the sea. There was no need to place the word “sea” in front of salt; we all knew what it was. Somehow we have forgotten that salt comes from the sea and now many designer salts have showed up with the word “sea” in front of the word salt and sell for much more than table salt. Don’t be fooled: all salts come from the sea! Preferences of course may mean you pick a designer salt over table salt but I would like to make sure you know that in terms of “salt” they are the same for the body.
You may ask: how can they be the same for the body if one contains all kinds of other elements as well as pure salt itself. The answer is very simple. In the body salt molecules (NaCl) break down into ions (Na+ and Cl-) and only these two ions participate in what is called voltage activated sodium pumps (Nav1.1-1.9) where 1.1 to 1.9 indicates that there are 9 such pumps and Nav stands for voltage activated sodium pump. Thus for the body only ions matter. Na+ is inside the cell and is positively charged. Cl- is outside the cell and is negatively charged. The two create the voltage necessary for the cell to function. Some of these pumps also have additional functions—such as sending pain message when a pump opens and does not close properly. The influx of Na+ and Cl- can cause… read more
This article I wrote specifically for hormonesmatter blog where you will find the entire article. Here it is only an introduction of the fun stuff to read.
Your comments are welcome as always!
About Angela A Stanton, Ph.D.
Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist focusing on chronic pain--migraine in particular--physiology, electrolyte homeostasis, nutrition, and genetics. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention, and treatment without the use of medicine. As a forever migraineur from childhood, 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 variations of all voltage dependent channels, gates, and pumps (chanelopathy) that modulate electrolyte mineral density and voltage in the brain. In addition, insulin and glucose transporters, and several other variants, such as MTHFR variants of B vitamin methylation process and many others are different in the case of a migraineur from the general population.
Migraineurs are glucose sensitive (carbohydrate intolerant) and should avoid eating carbs as much as possible. She is working on her hypothesis that migraine is a metabolic disease.
As a result of the success of the first edition of her book and her helping over 5000 migraineurs successfully prevent their migraines world wide, all ages and both genders, and all types of migraines, she published the 2nd (extended) edition of her migraine book "Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: Complete Guide: How To Treat & Prevent Migraines Without Medications". The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraine cause, development, and prevention, incorporating all there is to know. It includes a long section for medical and research professionals. The book is full of academic citations (over 800) to authenticate the statements she makes to make it easy to follow up by those interested and to spark further research interest. It is a "Complete Guide", published on September 29, 2017.
Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in Economics with dissertation in neuroscience (culminating in Neuroeconomics) at Claremont Graduate University, fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers, certification in LCHF/ketogenic diet from NN (Nutrition Network), certification in physiology (UPEN via Coursea), Nutrition (Harvard Shool of Public Health) and functional medicine studies. Dr. Stanton is an avid sports fan, currently power weight lifting and kickboxing. For relaxation (yeah.. about a half minute each day), she paints and photographs and loves to spend time with her family of husband of 45 years, 2 sons and their wives, and 2 granddaughters.
Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook, LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelaastantonphd/ and facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DrAngelaAStanton/
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But of course… 😀
I have a multi-part question. I’m on a low-salt diet because I had a mini-stroke at age 49 and have battled Bell’s Palsy off and on. Finally after several years my blood pressure is normal. I notice if I eat salty snacks I get headaches. In fact if I eat any salty food I get a headache. I stopped salting my food years ago. Several visits to the E.R. were enough for me. I drink lots of water. Also I want to know why Black, Hispanic and Native American peoples have such high rates of high blood pressure/strokes and diabetes? Are our bodies really that different medically as opposed to Caucasian people?
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Hi Dancingpalmtrees! Glad you are under control. High blood pressure is not actually caused by salt but by sugar and none of the geographic groups you mentioned normally eat (or used to eat prior to the Western Civilization) sugar except when it comes to fruits, in which case they ate them with fiber and then the sugar is not harmful. Also starches (look at the Asian culture of all starchy foods) is a healthy food because starch converts into glucose (blood sugar) that can actually be deposited as fat by insulin and used later by leptin (another hormone) to feed the brain. A large percent of table sugar or honey or any commercial sugar raw or not contains high fructose corn syrup or fructose which never ever gets to the brain as sugar. It is highly toxic. Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM Long and not an easy watch but it explains how it works. He also has a book out called Fat Chance. I highly recommend it!
Some cultures are genetically better with eating high starch foods and others with high protein foods and no human is good with eating high sweet content food. The Native Americans (and Eskimos too) are low starch and high protein eaters with lots of fat and so they too are not used to all that sugar either. Today nearly all are unhealthy from all the soft drinks they drink that are full of sugar.
Sugar is the evil for them that causes high blood pressure and not salt. Now in your case with mini strokes you fall into a special category. One of the reasons why you may get headaches from salt is because salt retains water and if you do not offset that by a balanced meal also containing potassium, magnesium, calcium, and lots of water, you will in fact increase pressure in your veins–and in your head the small veins may pop as a result. Salt itself does not cause high blood pressure–I wish it did for me. I am genetically predisposed to have hypertension and when I told my MD that I am increasing my salt intake, he nearly fainted. But after 4 years of about 50% increase in my salt intake every day, I still have my BP exactly where it was 4 years ago. My triglycerides are way better than they ever were. Low salt diets cause high triglycerides, so if your triglycerides are high, that is asking for heart trouble and the only way to lower that is by increasing salt.
I do not know if you eat any sugar (or sugar substitutes are even worse since they cause diabetes II), but if you do, you should stop eating sugar or sweets completely and then see what happens if you eat a salty food and drink water. I bet that you will not get a headache! 🙂
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Mormones matter? No doubt about that! 😀
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