In this blog I provide 2 videos.
#1 - Salt & Blood Pressure: How Shady Science Sold America a Lie https://youtu.be/HMsbl22gQLg?si=_PyrHR4pH2CxfFj6
This is a very well-constructed video. Although salt is the topic, he really dives into what constitutes valid trials required to reveal the truth. I recommend everyone watch this for that information.
In this video, Dr. Fung presents data from well-done studies, the design of which are described in video #1.
What is missing from these two comprehensive talks?
Mechanism(s) of salt-action in health
Cofactors - it's never one thing
This is what I cover now - as briefly as possible.
1. The most important function of salts (note the plural) is to facilitate energy product - AKA ATP by way ough active transport. It does this by allowing key substances to enter and exit cells.
"In active transport, unlike passive transport, the cell expends energy (for example, in the form of ATP) to move a substance against its concentration gradient."
An estimated 1/3rd of our calorie intake is channeled to drive active transport.
So... if 33% of our energy is dedicated to "pushing substances into and out of our cells" (active transport driven by salt), does salt restriction make sense?
2. The "other" key salt is potassium - thus we need to take in saltS.
What drives active transport - the "sodium-potassium pump." What is YOUR potassium intake compared to that of sodium?
Sodium is the "shopper" and brings things "home" to the inside of cells.
Potassium is the garbage man (or woman - I pity the fool) that removes waste from the inside of the cell to be processed and either recycled or discarded by the kidneys.
What would happen at your home if the trash is not removed at the rate it is created? Maybe your blood pressure would go up just like in a cell.
Interestingly, the ratio of sodium-to-potassium in active transport / sodium-potassium pump is 3 to 2. That is, this pump requires..
3 sodiums (as sodium chloride)
2 potassiums (as potassium chloride)
NOTE - this is measured in atoms, not weight. Potassium is heavier than sodium, thus, to reach that ratio, you need a bit more than, say - 3 grams of sodium and 2 grams of potassium. (I will spare you the chemistry math for now)
THANKFULLY, WE DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE IN SODIUM AND POTASSIUM AT THE EXACT RATIO USED BY THE PUMP. WE JUST NEED THE SUFFICIENCY OF EACH.
HOWEVER, TOO MUCH SODIUM SALT AND NOT ENOUGH POTASSIUM SALT HAVE DIRE CONSEQUENCES ON HEALTH - AND ELEVATED BLOOD PRESSURE IS JUST A WARNING SIGN OF "TOO MUCH TRASH CONTAMINATING CELLS."
Here is a reference from Harvard on potassium.
Thousands of years ago, when humans roamed the earth gathering and hunting, potassium was abundant in the diet, while sodium was scarce.
The so-called Paleolithic diet delivered about 16 times more potassium than sodium.
Today, most Americans get barely half of the recommended amount of potassium in their diets.
The average American diet contains well more than twice as much sodium as potassium (This is standard-of-care speak - the ratio is probably more like 10:1) because of the preponderance of salt hidden in processed or prepared foods, not to mention the dearth of potassium in those foods.
This imbalance, which is at odds with how humans evolved, is thought to be a major contributor to high blood pressure, which affects one in three American adults.
The adequate intake recommendation for potassium is 4,700 mg. Bananas are often touted as a good source of potassium, but other fruits (such as apricots, prunes, and orange juice) and vegetables (such as squash and potatoes) also contain this often-neglected nutrient.
Other good sources of potassium include:
beans, and - drum roll please...
The effect of potassium on high blood pressure
Diets that emphasize greater potassium intake can help keep blood pressure in a healthy range, compared with potassium-poor diets
Salt formula: I use this salt on everything and generously. That means all foods, coffee, smoothies, and drinking water (I tend to use a soda stream with 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon of water).
SALT FORMULA: I make a large batch and store it in a sealed container for distribution to shakers. I always take a small amount with me when I travel is some type of container - ziplock or other.
2 Cups sodium salt (of your choice - preferably unrefined)
1 Cup potassium salt (here is a product I use: https://bulkfoods.com/nutritional/potassium-chloride.html
"Some" magnesium chloride (who is not deficient?). I do this to taste but do not have a set formula. In this mixture, I probably add 1-2 tablespoons.
Do you have a nagging health problem? If so, balance your salts first before spending $$ on "downstream" interventions.
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