VIDEO: We Need Salt

In this iHealthTube interview, nutrition writer Dr. Joel Wallach talks about the many conditions that can stem from insufficient salt levels in the body. Most people not on salt-restrictive diets and eating many prepared foods probably get more than enough salt, with the exception of many chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients who tend to be ‘a quart low’ on blood volume and may need to increase salt and water intake to avoid low blood pressure. But Dr. Wallach explains more generally why a deficiency of this essential mineral can give rise to insufficient stomach acid (resulting in acid reflux), deficiency diseases owing to poor absorption of nutrients, gluten intolerance, heat stroke, and more.

Salty Notes: On the other hand, some people are more “salt sensitive” and have a greater need to restrict salt because they retain it more easily, so are at more risk of fluid retention and elevated blood pressure if salt levels build. Salt tolerance depends at least partly on how well a person’s kidneys do their job of controlling sodium at optimum levels and excreting the excess.

How much salt do we need? See the Royal Chemical Society’s simple explanation, with a discussion of ‘hidden salts’ (added to foods for a wide variety of reasons and not listed in sodium content), of research on the link between salt & cardiovascular health, and more.

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