“Salt is not a food, even in small amounts. …Stop putting acidic dirt into your body.”
“The more salt we consume, the more we destroy and deteriorate our cells.”
— Dr. Timothy Trader, NMD, PhD
“There has been a lot of talk lately about salt, even among rawfood gurus. It seems everyone is promoting one “healthy salt” or another—Miracle Salt, Celtic Sea Salt, and Himalayan Crystal Salt, to name a few. Unfortunately, I don’t see anyone telling the truth about salt. Rather, they regurgitate the “facts” from the company’s marketing literature, in spite of copious scientific research to the contrary.
Let’s begin by delving into some facts about regular table salt, or sodium chloride. Then we’ll investigate just how different these “healthy salts” really are. No doubt you’ve heard that salt is essential for life. Actually, what our bodies need are the two components of table salt—sodium and chloride. First we need to distinguish chlorine from chloride. And which one does the body need? www.ionichs.com/research/chlorine-chloride.pdf: states “chloride is absolutely essential to the survival of cells in the human body and to human health in general. This is not the case with chlorine, which at certain levels can lead to serious health problems. AND, according to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, chloride is essential in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance, and is a necessary component of gastric juice. (NAS, page 257)”
Sodium stabilizes water balance in our bodies, plays an intricate role in nervous system function, and is a component of several chemicals in our bodies, such as our gastric juices. Natural sodium occurs in many vegetables, including lettuce, tomatoes, and especially celery.
Chloride helps heart function, is of key importance in maintaining the body’s acid-alkaline balance, and aids in digestion and elimination. Chloride is found in the same three items, lettuce, tomatoes and celery. Though it is not bound with sodium.
Unfortunately, table salt contains ingredients other than sodium and chlorine—aluminum, for one. Two of the most common anticaking agents used in salt production are sodium alumino-silicate and alumino-calcium silicate. Aluminum is a toxic metal that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and in any case has no place in a healthy diet.
The sodium and chloride in table salt are physically bonded in such a way that our digestive system and our liver cannot break them down. Thus our bodies cannot access the sodium or the chlorine. The body’s only option is to attempt to eliminate the unusable substance. The portion that is excreted exits the body as sodium chloride, which is evidence that the body does not break down and use this compound.
When we take in more of any substance than the body can eliminate, it has to store the substance. When salt can’t be excreted, it is deposited in the body, causing the cells to contract and discharge their vital fluids. With the fluids goes all the vital components that the cell needs, including other minerals. This results in dehydration of the cells, hardening of the tissues, degeneration of the organs, and even cancer.
The Bad News
Historically, salt was used as a food preservative and an embalming agent. It is well known that salt kills bacteria that eat food. Unfortunately, in the same way, salt destroys the body’s cells as well. Those who live in snowy regions know that salting the roads to melt the snow corrodes metals. The chloride in salt has an affinity for hydrogen ions, making corrosive, carcinogenic hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is used in the stomach but, when HCL is made outside of the digestive system it can eat away at everything it touches. Salt will tie to hydrogen ion out side of the stomach.
In a December 2002 article entitled in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , we see how salt creates urinary nitrogen and calcium loss and erodes muscle and bone. The July 2003 issue of Acupuncture Today states, “Salt induced chloride acidosis has been found to cause irritability, hyperactivity and insomnia…”. This means that the body is stimulated and irritated by poisons. “Excessive salt consumption is associated with stomach cancer, and chloride acid reflux into the esophagus initiates esophageal cancer. Systemic acidity is probably carcinogenic in other tissues.” A January 7, 2004 report of the National Cancer Center Research Institute at Kashiwa, Japan entitled “Salt and Stomach Cancer” again confirms this, stating that salt elevates—even doubles—the incidence of stomach cancer.
The Nei Jing, an ancient Chinese medical text, states, “too much salty taste can weaken the bones and cause contracture and atrophy of the muscles, as well as stagnate the heart qi.” Other maladies associated with salt consumption include premenstrual syndrome, gout, and psychological disorders.
Salt affects the arteries, compressing them and elevating blood pressure (American Society of Hypertension study, “Salt Reduction and Hypertension,” F. Sacks, Harvard University. May, 2000.) Hypertension is involved in heart attacks and strokes, otherwise known as cardiovascular disease, the number one terminal disease in Western civilization. Even back in 1977, the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human needs recommended reduction of salt intake for the average American.
Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says in Federal Regulations, section 101.74, part 3 “Sodium intakes exceed recommended levels in almost every group in the United States. One of the major public health recommendations relative to high blood pressure is to decrease consumption of salt. On a population-wide basis, we see again and again, reducing the average blood pressure reduces mortality from coronary heart disease and stroke.
In the August, 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association, the article “Using Diet to Lower Your Blood Pressure” recommended not only putting the salt shaker away but eating more fruits and vegetables. I agree with Dr. Kotchen, the article’s author, on this.
What’s Natural About It?
Like cigarette smoke, we know that eating salt damages our bodies. Yet most of us still consume it. Similarly, at some level all Americans have to know that they’re deluding themselves when they imagine that a high-fat diet doesn’t hurt…yet thousands have jumped on the Atkins train. Are we addicted or what?
As is the case with many poisons that enter into our bodies, salt does not kill us right away. But we become addicted to salt, which lowers our defenses so that we not only endure the detrimental addictive substance but we come to demand more and more of it.
Animals in nature do not consume salt; domestic cows and other animals are taught to eat it. Humans are the only primates who eat salt. The question arises about salt licks, as Dr. Shelton speaks in his book The Art and Science of Nutrition, that domestic animals are fed salt to increase water weight and that wild animals do not flock to sources of salt.
It is said that salt is in our blood. Well, yes…it is. But it has existed in human blood only since we started eating it—some 8,000 years ago, according to historians. 8,000 years is a relatively short time in human history; for 99% of the time humans have inhabited the planet, we thrived without salt. And, our intake of salt has doubled in the last 50 years. Anthropology has found no sodium-chloride deposits in early bones of human remains, though you can find it in most anyone of western civilization today. Once humans began cooking food and discarding the water in which they cooked it—along with most of its minerals and nutrients—we were left craving minerals. Table salt can be a quick mineral replacement. But the question is, does it add up?
People say that salt makes food taste better. In truth, salt irritates our taste buds, actually killing many cells on the tongue. The effect is much like burning or scraping some skin off our hands in pursuit of a more sensitive touch. On the Oregon State University Student Health Services Web site, we find this quote: “Unlike the sweet sensation we are born to appreciate, salt sensation is acquired. Only through ‘practice’ consuming salty foods do people develop a taste for it.” Others claim that salt aids digestion. In reality, salt inhibits absorption through intestinal membranes. Albuminuria, a presence of protein in the urine, occurs when all of the components of blood are expeditiously possessed by the kidneys, taking out needed nutrients in the blood with the poisons. This disturbs water balance in the body causing dehydration, causing low gastric juices which affect digestion.
Imagine placing salt in an open wound (no, I do not suggest doing this) it will burn. Though some promoters of salt will tell you that it helps to heal the wound, we find that it actually pushes the body to heal the wound faster because there is a poison as well as a wound. Poisons in a laceration only causes more scaring, due to the rushed work the body has to do to secure that contaminates stay out.
The more salt we consume, the more we destroy and deteriorate our cells. In edema, the circulatory system keeps more fluid with the blood to keep the salt in the blood away from the cells. Diabetics who lower their salt intake also have lower glucose readings and need less insulin (Diabetes, March 2001).
In ancient Japan, the Samurai committed hari-kari to eliminate dishonor. Many of us have read how they stabbed themselves with a knife in this ritual suicide. There were other ways; one of them was a long and agonizing death, for those with the greatest dishonor. It was to take a sack of sea salt, just less than a pound, and a small amount of water, around a liter, and to consume both as quickly as possible. The result was destruction of the body from the inside, as well as dehydration. Death was not instantaneous, but by the next morning it was sure. Navy and maritime personnel all over the world are told not to drink sea water if they survive a shipwreck and are left without drinking water, because drinking sea water causes death by dehydration.
So here it is, salt is a deadly poison and not something your body can use. Even small amounts do some damage to your cells and can be stored in the body, making the body more toxic each time you consume salt. Salt is not a food, even in small amounts. This also applies to everything else we consume, poisons affect our bodies and when we get more in then what we can get rid of, it will accumulate and do more damage.
Organic Versus Inorganic Minerals
Minerals (like sodium) are best taken in plant form. In fact it is the only source of minerals our body can truly use. Plant-derived minerals are termed “organic” minerals, whereas the minerals in dirt are called “inorganic.” Many differences exist between these two kinds of minerals. real issue is which kinds of minerals the body can absorb and use, some tout colloidal minerals, others talk about ionic minerals, mostly it is just something to sell you on a product.
Many factors contribute to proper absorption and utilization of minerals. Three important ones are organic acids, phytochelatins, and metallothioneins fundamental elements found in plants with minerals, but not in powders. Colloidal liquids sold in stores also lack some of the plant materials that you need for optimum absorption and utilization. Perhaps most important, minerals in dirt can have larger molecules than do those same minerals found in plants. Our cells absorb minerals of a smaller molecular size much more easily. Here are three resources on the topic of mineral bioavailability: * Biochemical Society Transactions, “Bioavailability of Dietary Minerals,” 1996. * Bioavailability: Physical, Chemical, and Biological Interactions, EPA/600/A-94/199. J.L. Hamelink, P.F. Landrum, H.L. Bergman, and W.H. Benson, Editors. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Pp. 5-22.
* Biorecovery 1, (81–126), “Terrestrial Higher Plants Which Hyperaccumulate Metallic Elements—A Review of Their Distribution, Ecology and Phytochemistry.” Baker, A. J. M., and Brooks, R. R. (1989)
What’s So Different?
Are “healthy salts” any different? First none of them come from plants, where we can truly use them. The closest to healthy plant-based condiment that is salty is seaweed. Even though the minerals in seaweed are organic, they are surrounded by dried sea salt, which is inorganic and mostly sodium chloride, a poison. Don’t forget that seaweed contains all the pollutants in the ocean, as well as heavy metals.
Let’s examine Celtic sea salt, again an inorganic group of minerals and 83% sodium chloride. It also contains metals like aluminum, and all the contaminates of the ocean. The company claims that it contains no mercury, and I am glad about that—though I’m unsure how they managed this feat, since our oceans are full of mercury. They also claim that their salt contains no pollutants, although most ecologists find no place in our oceans untouched by our chemicals. Celtic Sea Salt has more minerals than table salt, but it is still mostly sodium chloride and thus acidic. The minerals are inorganic and unusable and really poison. The claims made on health properties are no different then any other product some one is trying to sell you. Poisons are destructive to your body no matter how small the amount is. When we use it to cure a malady it only stops symptoms, the reality is that the only way to heal is to create health.
Another “natural” salt is Himalayan Crystal Salt, mined in India, out of rock. They say it is from a primordial sea. So really it is sea salt, just without today’s pollutants. Some of the statements made by the company seem odd. “Himalayan Crystal salt forces water to stay outside the cells.” This dehydrates the cells and possibly keeps them undernourished. The cells probably contract, similarly to the cramps you get when you are dehydrated. Then they tell you how to get rid of edema: “this is how you get rid of edema fluid in the body: by drinking more water.” More water will help the body flush out the salt. If you stop eating salt, the edema goes away! Their answer to high blood pressure is again drinking more water. This still sounds like inorganic minerals which the body can or will not use and is trying to get rid of. The answer to any pollution is water as far as most “experts” go. I say stop the cause, don’t pollute your self.
The last salt I would like to talk about is Miracle Krystal Salt. Like the others, it has many minerals. They make sure you know it is unrefined. Still it does not come from a plant, and it contains sodium chloride. Could this be just another salt for you to buy? There are profits to be made. And as many researchers know, if you have money you can fund a study to prove what you want so you can sell your product. Hopefully we can see through this con game and find true health, without condiments and supplements.
The truth is that table salt is just refined “healthy salt,” and refining any food product results in lowered health. Refined cocoa is cocaine; refined poppy is heroine, all three create addictions. Salt is a learned taste, not a natural one. Just watch a baby’s facial expression of disgust when they’re first given salt. The only time babies reject fruit is when they are full, or have no teeth yet.
Our bodies need sodium, and we get it in abundance with our natural diet. Thoreau called salt “that grossest of groceries,” and after he discontinued it, found himself less thirsty. I see many people who eat at least a somewhat healthy diet, even some who eat a superbly healthy diet. These people also have problems like hypertension and they wonder why? Then I find out they are consuming a “healthy salt,” as well as trying to live a healthy lifestyle, as soon as they stop this addiction, the affliction goes away, every time. Stop putting acidic dirt into your body. You will save money and you will be healthier.”
— by Dr. Timothy Trader, NMD, PhD