The Sound Of Settled Science

| 23 Comments

Consensus;

The salt equation taught to doctors for more than 200 years is not hard to understand.

The body relies on this essential mineral for a variety of functions, including blood pressure and the transmission of nerve impulses. Sodium levels in the blood must be carefully maintained.

If you eat a lot of salt -- sodium chloride -- you will become thirsty and drink water, diluting your blood enough to maintain the proper concentration of sodium. Ultimately you will excrete much of the excess salt and water in urine.

The theory is intuitive and simple. And it may be completely wrong.

h/t nv53


23 Comments

Past the point where we should all know by now to simply doubt everything we are told. Are they going to start labelling people salt deniers?

The "settled" science on salt is as bad as the "settled" science on global warming. Like so many other settled sciences. a few generations from now they will laugh about what we took for granted.

http://www.health-report.co.uk/sodium_chloride_salt_myths1.html

Not unlike this scene from Woody Allen's sleeper:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFJopF6WJNw

It appears now that a dinner of a salted ribeye, a baker with sour cream and bacon with salty veggies is the best thing to eat.

You mean Granny was right?!? Ugh, never hear the end of it.

So, let's see here...

We've been told for a couple decades that we need to be on low salt, low fat, low cholesterol, low meat, high fiber diets. It increasingly seems that these types of diets actually make people fat and unhealthy.

Time to eat beef jerky. Breakfast of champions.

speaking of weight loss, for some reason I am trying to peg, my weight plunged 20 pounds from 200+ at christamastime to 183 2 weeks ago. it has since rebounded to 190 and a bit.

weird. the only difference is I shunned lunch a couple times and have been taking my part mastiff for very long walks.

Having hypertension, I always asked different doctors about limiting salt intake.
All five of them said it has minimal effect on blood pressure and not to worry about it.
Good enough for me!

In the 60's the RCN had a practice of issuing Salt pills that always seemed to be ineffective. When Hot & sweating the salt pills where intended to increase the intake of water (thirsty) NOT

I remember reading about the Israel Army desert training included limiting the amount of water intake....It made a huge difference in the 1967 (6 day) war, after 3 days of Desert fighting the Arab's were unable to function as effectively as Israel...Water Control

So, binging on potato chips will help me lose weight? Sign me up!

There was a time in the not to distant past where a very big chunk of the North American diet was salted meat, salted fish and salt brined vegetables. I am sure we were just as healthy.

Perhaps...but people today are living, on average, about 15 years longer than a century ago.

“Really cool,” he said, although he added that the findings need to be replicated. ... in the category of quotations you will NEVER see regarding - "Global Warming"

Egads, linked to the fishwrap of record!

The real news is millions no longer believe anything the obsolete news or grant obsessed scientists profess anymore.

From my wife's experience I think part of the issue is how well your body processes salt, if it cannot process and remove the salt faster than you are consuming it, you will have problems. My wife went for years with a high salt Malaysian diet and suddenly had really bad blood pressure issues, by managing her salt intake near the guideline amounts.

Exactly!

And Anna Mac, well said.

It appears that the first thing one should think when the media reports anything is that it is a pack of lies to feather someone's bed or further a political agenda.

I keep saying, whether you like the man or not, Woody Allen was a prophet with the movie Sleeper.

Fewer variables,better controls on the variables for effects of salt.

With a 24 hour news cycle, you're gonna get news.

Good news, bad news, indifferent news, leaky news, fake news, political news, news to make your blood curdle, boil, or reach stratospheric levels. Or make you snooze, then you lose.

Take it all with a grain of salt, or better yet, malt.

We put salt in front of the cows and they consume as they feel the need. To a degree so do we.
We live longer today because we no longer die from gangrene and tounselitus etc !!

"Perhaps...but people today are living, on average, about 15 years longer than a century ago."

Very true, but a century ago the biggest cause of death was infection. A very large number of my predecessors who did not die of infection, trauma of some sort (gunshot wounds, for example), or bear attack lived to be very old and were reasonably healthy up to quite near the end. Mostly lived in Northern Alberta and Saskatchewan, not in cities.

A couple of studies I'll have to download. Hadn't thought of monthly rhythms in Na excretion but have noticed clear circadian rhythms in urine output. Sodium handling is a very messy area of medicine and we see a lot of elderly people in hospital who either have low Na or high Na (usually from dehydration). Then there are those patients who haven't bothered reading the textbooks and choose to behave in completely unconventional ways. I keep a list with lab results of the interesting patients and the most effective treatment has been to send them home and stop measuring their electrolytes unless they are brought to emerg either delirious or comatose.

There are only a few medical conditions in which salt restriction is essential and, in someone with cirrhosis, putting them on the standard emerg dose of 125 ml/hour of normal saline IV will increase their ascites, fail to lower their blood pressure and is a real pain in the ass to reverse; that is if they survive. Someone in congestive heart failure might need salt restriction but when people get into their 80's I don't really care what they eat.

A lot of the weird stuff we see can likely be explained by much longer rhythms than I've been looking for and that means monitoring people more closely as outpatients to find out if our treatments are making them worse rather then better. Unfortunately, most of "modern" medicine is geared at fixing what is percieved to be an immediate problem and then failure of the treatment is chalked up to patient non-compliance. I have a very hard time trying to convince my colleagues that non-diuretic blood pressure lowering drugs should be given at bedtime when low blood pressure is a lot better tolerated lying down than during the day. One agitated patient who was sent to hospital for refusing to take his blood pressure medications had a bp of 180 systolic when lying down and 100 systolic when he stood up. He was quite right to refuse his pills which meant he couldn't walk. Did dictate a note about the importance of chronopharmacology but taking all of ones drugs in one morning dose at a fixed dose that doesn't change seems to be the norm.

As far as salt intake goes, I find that my salt intake in winter is minimal but really increases in summer. Also, there are times where I have a real craving for salty foods. Interestingly, I do put on weight in the winter and lose it in the summer which I had previously attributed to partial hibernation at some points in the winter.

Will have to see if there are some cheap Na measuring electrodes to do long term monitoring of urinary Na. When I was doing graduate work, one of the physiology grad students was looking at urine composition and had records/composition of his urine every time he pissed for months. Thought it was a bit over the top, even given the peculiarities of researchers, but his data could be quite valuable now assuming he kept it.

Argh, didn't proof read well enough - the cirrhotic patient who often comes in hypotensive gets put on iv normal saline which won't raise their blood pressure in the expected manner, not lower it.

Salt? I'll drink to that! Ladies and gentlemen, the Rolling Stones:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2bxix3vFYM

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  • ebt: Salt? I'll drink to that! Ladies and gentlemen, the Rolling read more
  • Loki: Argh, didn't proof read well enough - the cirrhotic patient read more
  • Loki: A couple of studies I'll have to download. Hadn't thought read more
  • The other Ryan: "Perhaps...but people today are living, on average, about 15 years read more
  • ivbinconned: We put salt in front of the cows and they read more
  • Po'ed in AB: With a 24 hour news cycle, you're gonna get news. read more
  • John Lewis: Fewer variables,better controls on the variables for effects of salt. read more
  • DaveK: I keep saying, whether you like the man or not, read more
  • Ken (Kulak): Exactly! And Anna Mac, well said. It appears that the read more
  • colin: From my wife's experience I think part of the issue read more