campaign against salt fails to recognize health benefits of sea salt and trace
Published July 18th, 2006
may have heard the recent news that the AMA has publicly come out against excessive
sodium consumption and salt in particular. Suddenly, the alternative health community
is engaged in a whirlwind of debate on the topic. But wait, if salt is a major
risk factor in heart and renal diseases, why is anyone upset?
simply, the issue is that not all sources of sodium and salt are the same. As
far as the body is concerned, there is no connection between the chemically-cleansed
sodium chloride table salt you buy in the supermarket, which is added to virtually
every processed food you buy, and the mineral rich organic sea salt available
in health food stores. One can kill you; the other heals you. In fact, it's essential
One point everyone can agree on is that the body
needs sodium to function. It is the main component of the body's extra-cellular
fluids, and it helps carry nutrients into the cells. Sodium also helps regulate
other body functions, such as blood pressure and fluid volume, and works on the
lining of blood vessels to keep the pressure balance normal.
can also agree that just like anything else, salt or sodium should not be consumed
in excess. (But then again, that's true of water and oxygen as well.) Which brings
us back to why the AMA came out with a warning: Americans are consuming ever higher
amounts of sodium, up to 6,000 milligrams a day, instead of the recommended 500
to 2,000 milligrams per day. These high amounts, in a form that is unfriendly
to the human body and with no ancillary mineral benefits, are what lead to serious
However, this is not necessarily the heart
of the debate. The issue is that the AMA is against all forms of salt, which could
threaten to obscure salt's importance and to confuse thoughtful consumers.
further explain, standard table salt is highly refined, chemically cleansed, and
unfriendly to the human body. Unrefined sea salt, on the other hand, is a naturally
occurring complex of sodium chloride, which includes major minerals such as calcium
and magnesium and a complete complement of essential trace minerals. This is the
form of salt the body is designed to utilize – having been the salt of choice
since humans first walked the earth. Refined table salt, on the other hand, is
a modern invention, artificially designed to look white and pour easily. The human
body doesn't like it.
This is very similar to the vitamin dilemma.
The best vitamin supplements are full complexes that can be absorbed into the
body because they mimic how they are found in nature. Vitamin E, for instance,
is usually sold as d-alpha-tocopheol (dl-alpha if you buy synthetic), but vitamin
E naturally exists as a complex of at least eight components – 4 tocopherols
and 4 tocotrienols, of which d-alpha is at best the sixth most potent (source:
Likewise, the vitamin C found in a lemon
does not exist as ascorbic acid, but as a complex that includes bioflavonoids
and calcium. You will notice that now most vitamin C supplements contain added
bioflavonoids and calcium because over time supplement manufacturers have learned
that the body doesn't utilize pure ascorbic acid without the rest of the vitamin
C complex present.
But nature had it right from the very beginning.
Lemons contain the full complex; oranges contain the full complex; and grapefruit
contain the full complex. Similar to complex vitamins, unrefined natural sea salt
is also a complex, one that contains the full spectrum of trace minerals that
are essential for life but lacking in our modern diet.
we get to the heart of the debate: trace minerals.
of getting enough trace minerals in our diet should not be taken lightly. Traditionally,
eating fresh grains, fruits, and vegetables grown in nutrient-rich soil, drinking
mineral rich water, and including naturally occurring forms of raw salt in the
diet have provided the full spectrum of ionically-charged trace minerals necessary
Unfortunately, naturally occurring, nutrient-rich
soil is almost non-existent on commercial farms and bottled water is mostly devoid
of trace minerals. Key trace minerals now missing from the modern diet include
copper, tin, silver, gold, and lithium. The entire burden has shifted to naturally
occurring salt and/or trace mineral supplements. Recently, trace minerals in the
news include selenium for preventing cancer, boron for preventing osteoporosis,
and chromium for regulating blood sugar levels. Of course, finding the right source
of trace minerals is tricky, but that is another topic.
the end, as the scientific community debates on whether sodium chloride causes
high blood pressure or if sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is a better alternative,
others will remind consumers that going back to nature is the key. Although we
can't rely on our fruits and vegetables any more for minerals, we still have a
natural alternative: unrefined sea salt. Of course, at least everyone can all
agree on one thing: a healthy diet is a diet in moderation.
a world of specialists, Jon Barron is the true Health Renaissance Man. He has
wrapped his mind around virtually every natural therapy known to man and brought
it together in a whole body package -- delivering a whole body "system" program,
a line of nutraceutical products, and cutting-edge functional foods and drinks
for consumers to enjoy. Combining his knowledge and research with modern science,
he continues to pioneer solutions in the alternative health industry for the overall
benefit of mankind.
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