Thursday, 21 July 2016

The importance of salt in our diet

mportance of Salt in our Diet – Part 1

New Theory:

Daily intake of salt, required to efficiently operate the human body, is approximately 5.0 grams (1

teaspoon) per day. If, your Serum Electrolytes show marginally low or below normal sodium (Std. Ref.

Range = 135 to 145 mmol/L) and chloride (Std. Ref. Range = 98 to108 mmol/L) levels, it is time to wake

up, and take immediate corrective action. Sodium and chloride levels tend to go below the normal range

if one purposefully and / or fanatically abstained from taking dietary salt or engaged in low sodium diets

under the false notion that “salt / sodium is totally harmful for the human body.”

If you have landed up deficient in serum sodium and / or chlorides you can make amends by taking ¼

teaspoon of natural salt to lime / lemon juice or just to warm water first thing in the morning on waking

up. You can do this once more in the late afternoon / evening if required. Do this for a few weeks at a

time and monitor your serum electrolyte levels and bring them to the midpoint of their respective

Standard Reference Range. Serum electrolytes should be measured only after discontinuing all sodium

supplements (extra intake of salt) for a minimum period of 7 days. This is done to ensure you have

determined the true retained value of sodium and chlorides in the body.

* Serum Electrolytes




Optimum Value

Sodium 136 to 145 mmol/L 142 mmol/L

Potassium 3.5 to 5.1 mmol/L 4.5 mmol/L

Chlorides 98 to 107 mmol/L 104 mmol/L

* Serum electrolytes values can be falsely elevated in case of any kidney insufficiency, reflected by serum uric acid, creatinine well

above the optimum values. In cases of a serious dietary protein deficiency leading to a N2 imbalance (low BUN), the renal profile

will be inconclusive.

Table 1 - Optimum Serum Electrolyte Levels

Like sodium, chlorine is also very important for the proper functioning of the human body. There is no

richer source of chlorine in our diet than the “chloride” found in sodium chloride. This source of chlorine is

what allows our body to generate hydrochloric acid in order to digest food in our stomach. Here

hydrochloric acid enables the absorption of iron to prevent anemia; helps to break down proteins for

further digestion; and numerous other functions. The low pH of the stomach’s hydrochloric acid also

destroys ingested bacteria and other microorganisms.

If you have abstained from eating salt for many years, you can be sure that you have poor levels of

hydrochloric acid and are “wasting / excreting” the already scarce nutrition available in the food you eat.

This causes ill health in addition to the rapid aging of the body. Prescription drugs that cause GI

disturbances and / or suppress the flow of gastric acids also contribute to rapid aging the body by

depriving the body from receiving nutrition from our daily diet. Conditions such as anemia and poor

ferritin levels often result from such deprivation. Healthy stomach acid helps kill disease-causing

microbes and parasites routinely found in food you eat.

To determine if the hydrochloric acid produced in your stomach is at an optimum level, a gastrin

hormone blood test (Fasting and PP) should be performed. Gastrin (Standard Ref. Range Fasting = < 90

pg/mL) is inversely proportional to hydrochloric acid levels in your stomach. Try to maintain your body to

stay at the lower end of the gastrin standard reference range - at approximately < 25 pg/mL (Fasting and

Post Prandial).

* Gastrin






Fasting Up to 90 pg/ml < 15 pg/ ml

Post Prandial

2 hours after meal

Up to 250 pg/ml < 25 pg/ml

* Gastrin is inversely proportional to HCl levels

Table 2 - Optimum Gastrin Levels

Again, iodized salt (elemental iodine 50 mcg/gram) is our primary source of iodine to operate the body.

It allows the body to maintain a high rate of metabolism by allowing our thyroid gland to function properly.

Improper functioning of the thyroid gland, due to iodine deficiency (less than 150 mcg/day of elemental

iodine per person), leads to hypothyroidism, weight gain, increased body fat and poor cardiac health.

Abstinence from dietary salt, for numerous years, can cause severe iodine deficiency resulting in goiters,

which were rampant in many parts of the world about a hundred years back. We are once again seeing

the reemergence of goiters today due to abstinence from salt in our diet.

There is not much merit to the age old theory that salt results in weight gain and high blood

pressure. There are many other safer methods to naturally lower high blood pressure without

exposing oneself to the damaging effects of dietary salt abstinence. As a matter of fact the lack

of iodine from iodized salt can result in hypothyroidism and weight gain.

For instance, lowering sodium levels in the body to lower hypertension, can also be achieved by

increasing potassium intake. After all, it is the ratio of sodium to potassium that is important for the

smooth operation of the human body. Increasing potassium intake is easier and has less harmful effects

on the human body. The kidneys strive to maintain the sodium / potassium equilibrium in the body at all

times. Again, magnesium is very effective in naturally lowering high blood pressure and has very low

chances of causing any toxic effects. Excess magnesium is quickly excreted by the body. Again,

magnesium is also utilized for building of bones which is a very slow process. Therefore, it normally

takes six to twelve months to replenish depleted magnesium levels in the body when therapeutic doses

of magnesium are administered.

For more information on use of intracellular magnesium therapy for the treatment of primary

hypertension (high blood pressure) please go to:

Avoiding salt is therefore, one of the worst and the most damaging methods of high blood

pressure control and is definitely not recommended for people pursuing a long healthy life with

anti-aging as a goal.

Digestion Begins in our Mouth

Old Theory:

In humans, digestion begins in the oral cavity where food is chewed. Saliva is secreted in large amounts

(1-1.5 litres/day) by three pairs of exocrine salivary glands (parotid, submandibular, and sublingual) in

the oral cavity, and is mixed with the chewed food by the tongue. There are two types of saliva. One is a

thin, watery secretion, and its purpose is to wet the food. The other is a thick, mucous secretion, and it

acts as a lubricant and causes food particles to stick together and form a bolus. The saliva serves to

clean the oral cavity and moisten the food, and contains digestive enzymes such as salivary amylase,

which aids in the chemical breakdown of polysaccharides such as starch into disaccharides such as

maltose. It also contains mucin, a glycoprotein which helps soften the food into a bolus.

The gastrointestinal tract starts in the oral cavity (i.e. mouth) where your teeth grind and chew food,

breaking it into smaller manageable pieces. This chewing process, known as mastication, is dependent

upon powerful muscles (i.e. masseter and temporalis), as well as smaller muscles that permit fine

control; they move the mandible (i.e. lower jawbone) against the upper jaw and enable the crushing of

relatively hard food. Mastication causes exocrine glands under the tongue and in the back of the mouth

to secrete a water-like liquid called saliva which performs two essential functions. It moistens and

compacts the chewed food so your tongue can roll it into a ball (i.e. bolus), pushing it to the back of your

mouth for swallowing and easy passage through the pharynx and esophagus. In addition, saliva contains

digestive enzymes (eg. salivary amylase or ptyalin) which initiate the breakdown of carbohydrates.

Mastication and saliva secretion work in harmony: chewing increases the surface area of foods which

helps to accelerate the breakdown of starch molecules into simple sugars by the digestive enzymes.

Almost no protein or fat digestion occurs in the mouth, except for the release of lingual lipase an enzyme

secreted by Ebner's glands on the dorsal surface of the tongue.

In addition to ptyalin, saliva has an enzyme called lysozyme that digests bacterial cell walls, thus killing

certain microorganisms. Saliva also has a cleansing action as its constant flow helps to dissolve and

remove food particles from the teeth.

The actions of the teeth and tongue prepare food for swallowing. After swallowing, the food enters the

esophagus, the next stage of the digestive tract.

Micronization of Food

In order to derive the full nutritional value of food and experience its therapeutic effects, it is necessary to

understand the process of micronization.

Normally, grains are made into flour for ease of making dough for breads (e.g. rotis). Here the particle

size is quite large, restricting to some extent the bioavailability of nutrition from the food we eat. It also

prevents us from experiencing the therapeutic effects food has on the human body.

During micronization, food particles are reduced to micron size and we approach closer to the cell wall to

extract the nutrition in a more complete manner. The assimilation and retention of nutrition and other

phytochemicals present in food is much higher in the case of micronized food.

This is very important today, as the nutritional value of produce from farmlands has steadily declined to

an alarming low level of approximately 25%. This is due to the extensive use of synthetic fertilizers and

over cultivation of land during the last 50 years.

Today, farmlands are over cultivated and the soil is almost entirely depleted of nutrition. This has led to

a host of chronic ailments such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cardiac diseases, and hypothyroidism.

Under these circumstances, it was imperative to innovate the concept of micronization of food; so that

the bioavailability of nutrition could be enhanced and optimized to ensure that the human body did not

easily develop these kinds of chronic aliments which have become rampant today. These ailments have

been wrongly classified as chronic diseases when they are really symptoms of severe nutritional

deficiency. These “chronic diseases” or shall I say symptoms, are fully reversible in nature by

implementing therapeutic doses of nutrition synergistically administered at the intracellular levels.

“Let thy food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food”.

Hippocrates, Circa 400 BC

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the

human frame, in diet and the cause and prevention of disease”.

Thomas Edison

Copyright 2009 - 2013 SpaceAge . All Rights Reserved.

Importance of Salt in Digestion – Part 2

New Insight:

The important thing to understand is that the process of mastication causes the

production of small particles. This is known as micronization and is untimately

responsible for the enhanced release of nutrition from the food we eat.

The mouth essentially serves like a kitchen “wet grinder” and enables the micronization

of the food we eat.

It is well established that, when we want to draw out the nutrients from the food we eat,

we have to go as close as possible to the cell wall. Chewing one’s food thirty-two times

before swallowing is therefore emphasized.

Salt or sugar in the diet enables the enhanced release of saliva which allows our “wet

grinder” to efficiently micronize the food. While salivary amylase (ptyalin) can break

down carbohydrates, the micronized food readily releases proteins and fats for

digestion once the food travels past the esophagus. If it was not micronized in our

mouth, the nutrition received by our body would be deficient and would contribute to the

rapid aging of our body.

It is therefore appropriate to say that 50% of our digestion occurs in the mouth and it is

necessary to eat food slowly, without distraction, and not to hastily swallow improperly

chewed food. Chewing food thirty-two times with adequate stimulus to enhance the

flow of saliva therefore makes sense. Ayurveda talks about the six tastes required in

our daily diet and essential to operate the body: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and


It is more important to understand the essential role that salt plays in digestion,

beginning with our mouth. Salt enhances the flow of saliva and enables our “wet

grinder” to function more efficiently to micronize our food for further digestion in the

digestive tract.

Salt and sugar are therefore important and essential for the operation of the human


Ask most culinary pundits, and they will tell you that salt helps to “draw out the flavor in

our food,” Flavor increases the flow of saliva to enhance the digestion of food in our

mouth and increases the flow of gastric juices (acids) to enhance the digestion of food

in our stomach and the consequent absorption of nutrition vital to good health.
It is time to bid goodbye to the widely prevalent theory that salt (sodium) harms

our health and must be avoided at all costs by hypertensive and obese patients.

Importance of Hydrochloric Acid in the Stomach

Hydrochloric acid helps digest food by breaking up fats and proteins. The low pH of the stomach’s

hydrochloric acid also destroys ingested bacteria and other microorganisms. Adequate levels of HCl are

necessary for adequate absorption of protein, calcium, vitamin B12 and iron.

Healthy stomach acid is needed for a healthy digestive tract. If you have low stomach acid, even foods

with high level of nutrition cannot be properly digested. If you are unable to absorb nutrients properly, this

can lead to chronic health problems. Healthy stomach acid helps kill disease-causing microbes and

parasites routinely found in food you eat. If you have low stomach acid, these infecting invaders may not

be destroyed in your stomach. They can then lead to many types of infections.

Common Symptoms of Low Hydrochloric Acid

Bloating or belching, especially after eating

Burning in the stomach, especially after eating

Fullness or heaviness in the stomach after eating

Nausea after eating or taking supplements (especially vitamins and minerals)

Intestinal gas


Bad breath

Diarrhea or constipation

Food allergies

Itching around the rectum

Weak or cracked fingernails

Dilated blood vessels in the cheeks or nose (rosecea in nonalcoholics)

Skin break-outs or acne

Iron deficiency

Chronic intestinal parasites

Undigested food in the stool

Chronic candida (yeast) infection

Diseases Associated With Low Hydrochloric Acid







Acne, rosacea


Gallbladder disease






Autoimmune disorders

Lupus erythematosus

Myasthenia gravis

Pernicious anemia

Celiac disease

Sjogren ’s Syndrome

Low Stomach Acid

For many people, as they get older, the parietal cells in the stomach lining produce less and less

hydrochloric acid. This is especially true of those who eat: 1) heavily cooked foods (which have no live

enzymes), 2) difficult-to-digest foods such as red meat or fried foods, 3) chemicalized foods, such as

those containing artificial preservatives and additives, 4) soft drinks, which contain high amounts of

phosphorus, white sugar, and immune-stressing chemicals and 5) barbequed foods, which cause high

digestive stress. (The blackened areas of the food contain carcinogenic [cancer-causing] agents.)

People Over Age 60

Over 50% of the people over age 50 have low stomach acid. By age 70, 75% have low stomach acid.

Healthy stomach acid is crucial to digest food properly in order to maintain good health. Hydrochloric

acid is one of your body’s first line defenses against disease-causing microbes. Weak stomach acid

allows infecting organisms (that would normally be killed by the acid) to get past the stomach and set up

infections in other areas. They can cause food poisoning and dysbiosis of the intestinal tract (abnormal

overgrowth of unhealthy intestinal microbes).

For people aged 50, over 20% have bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. Over age 70, the percentage

increases to 40%. This abnormal bacterial overgrowth is also common in younger people. It is linked to

low stomach acid as well as eating a nutrientpoor diet, using antibiotics or pain killers, drinking excess

alcohol and other factors. Thus, healthy stomach acid is a critical part of maintaining healthy intestines.

Getting The Minerals and Vitamins In

Adequate hydrochloric acid is necessary to absorb vitamin B12. B12 deficiency can cause muscle

weakness, fatigue and many nervous system problems. Healthy stomach acid is also required to absorb

many minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper and most B-complex vitamins. Those

with poor stomach acid typically have low vitamin C levels.

Exhausted Stomach Acid

Adequate amounts of stomach acid are necessary to break down protein. That’s why overeating meat,

especially cooked red meat, is hard on the stomach -- it uses up the stomach’s acid and enzymes

very quickly. Eating red meat day after day can exhaust the stomach’s ability to build up sufficient

amounts of hydrochloric acid. Your best bet is to limit or eliminate red meat in your diet. Instead, enjoy an

excellent, high quality vegetarian protein sources – mushrooms, beans, lentils and pulses.

Red meats are difficult to digest and contains arachidonic acid which encourages inflammatory byproducts

which can lead to joint pain, fatigue and osteoporosis.

Acid Stomach

Low stomach acid can cause indigestion. Believe or not, too little stomach acid is the most common

cause of an acid stomach, not excess acid. Some people take antacids to relieve the uncomfortable acid

feeling in their stomachs (common after eating high protein or high fat meals). But the vast majority of

those with an “acid stomach” suffer from not enough acid. They simply can’t digest what they’ve eaten.

For some, an antacid may temporarily relieve a queasy stomach, but in the long run, regular use of

antacids makes the problem worse.

Naturally Increasing Stomach Acid

Be sure you have adequate daily salt intake (from natural sea salt). The chloride fraction in salt is

essential for your body to make hydrochloric acid. That’s why a low-salt diet commonly leads to poor

digestion over time.

Notes – Observations from Clinical Studies:

The daily requirement of salt is about 5.0 gram for an adult weighing about 150 lbs. (70.0Kg).

Again, this requirement will change depending upon the room temperature, body sweat,

humidity, summer, winter, how much water you drink daily, etc. So one person may be OK with

3.0 grams per day and someone may require 5.0 grams per day because they exercise a lot and

also sweat a lot.

The body knows how to excrete excess salt when taken within limits. So you do not really need

to weigh the actual salt daily and take it like a tablet or a capsule. Just adding salt to enhance the

taste of the food is enough control. You really do not need to fanatically avoid salt in peanuts or

pistachios or cashews or potato chips or French fries or butter. Adding salt to drinking water on

a hot summer day when you are sweating is also OK.

Also I would avoid eating canned food full of sodium preservatives. This is normally sodium

citrate and does not provide chlorides (chlorine) to produce hydrochloric acid. I would eat only

fresh food.

What has happened in the last two decades, and we are seeing this in the patients that come to

us, is that patients have stopped eating salt or salty food for a number of years (because they

were told it is bad for health). Subsequently, their blood reports show extremely low sodium and

chlorides and consequently high gastrin levels (at the upper end of the Standard Reference

Range) indicating poor hydrochloric acid supply (stomach acid to help digest food and absorb

nutrition from food and supplements). Many times the sodium and chloride levels are

dangerously well below the lower end of the Standard Reference Range and need immediate


Pramod Vora,

Holistic Educator &

Anti-Aging Health Counselor to Doctors

International Faculty Member Anti-Aging Medicine


Anti-Aging Center

92 Corporate Park, Ste. C #705,

Irvine, CA 92606


Tel: +1 - 949 – 861 – 8164

Fax: +1 - 949 – 861 – 8165



spaceage2010 (for video consultations by prior appointment)


Anti-Aging Center

9/123 Marol Co-op. Industrial Estate,

P.O.Box 7432

Marol Sagbaug, Andheri (East),

Mumbai 400 059 INDIA

Tel: +91-22-2850-3986 / 2850-8653

Fax: +91-22-2850-6214



spaceage2010 (for video consultations by prior appointment)

Copyright 2009 - 2013 SpaceAge . All Rights Reserved.


1. McCarron DA. Importance of dietary calcium in hypertention. Letter. J Am Coll Nutr 17(1):97-9, 1988

2. Midgley JP et al. Effect of reduced dietary sodium on blood pressure. A Meta-analysis of randomized

controlled trials. JAMA 275(20):1590-7, 1996.

3. McCarron DA. Role of adequate dietary calcium intake in the prevention and management of saltsensitive

hypertension. AM J Clin Nutr 65 (suppl): 712S-6S, 1997.

4. Staessen JA et al. Salt and blood pressure in community-based intervention trials/ Am J Clin Nutr 65

(suppl): 661S-70S, 1997

5. Egan B. Nutritional and lifestyle approaches to the prevention and management of hypertension.

Comprehen Therapy 11(8):15-20,1985;

6. Luft FC. Salt and hypertention at the close of the millennium. Wien Klin Wochenschr 110(13-14):459-

66, 1998

7. McCarron DA, reusser ME. The integrated effects of electrolytes on blood pressure. The Nutrition

Report 9(8), August, 1991;

8. Preuss HG. Diet, genetics and hypertension. J Am Coll Nutr 16(4): 296-305, 1997

9. Sowers JR. Dietary cation (micronutrient) effects in salt-sensitive hypertension. Abstract. J Am Coll

Nutr 12:594, 1993

10. Egan BM, Stepniakowski KT. Adverse effects of short-term, very-low-salt diets in subjects with riskfactor

clustering. Am J Clin Nutr 65 (suppl): 671S-7S, 1997

11. Effects of Low-Sodium Diet vs. High-Sodium Diet on Blood Pressure, Renin, Aldosterone,

Catecholamines, Cholesterol, and Triglyceride (Cochrane Review)

Niels A. Graudal1, Thorbjørn Hubeck-Graudal2 and Gesche Jürgens2

American Journal of Hypertension (2012); 25 1, 1–15. doi:10.1038/ajh.2011.210

12. Salt, Blood Pressure, and Human Health

Michael H. Alderman

American Heart Association Journal, Hypertension. 2000;36:890-893. doi: 10.1161/01.HYP.36.5.890

13. Dietary sodium intake and cardiovascular mortality: controversy resolved?

Alderman MH, Cohen HW.

Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris

Park Avenue, Bronx, NY, 10461, USA, Curr Hypertens Rep. 2012


PMID: 22639013

For further Reading:

1. Reversing Hypertension – Primary & Secondary


Improving Cardiac Efficiency

Download complete paper with numerous case studies (done without restricting salt intake) and

a refresher course in undergraduate and post graduate Orthomolecular Nutrition with special

emphasis on magnesium and vitamin D which play a very important role in cardiac health:

2. Salted, Mark Bitterman, 2010, ISBN 978-1-58008-262-4

(A manifesto on the world’s most essential mineral, with recipes)
3. Salt Block Cooking, Mark Bitterman, 2013, ISBN 978-1-4494-3055-9

(70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks)
4. More information on Himalayan Salt is at:

Himalayan Salt – The Purest Salt on Earth

Himalayan salt was created 250 million years ago during a period of pristine environmental

integrity. Sourced from deep within the remote Himalayas, it is free of impurities – unlike

table salt or salt from our today’s polluted oceans.
Copyright 2009 - 2013 SpaceAge . All Rights Reserved.

Himalayan Salt - Analysis

Below is a spectral analysis of Himalayan pink salt. The list shows all the trace minerals,

electrolytes, and elements contained in Himalayan salt.

Hydrogen H 1 0.30 g/kg DIN

Lithium Li 3 0.40 g/kg AAS

Beryllium Be 4 <0.01 ppm AAS

Boron B 5 <0.001 ppm FSK

Carbon C 6 <0.001 ppm FSK

Nitrogen N 7 0.024 ppm ICG

Oxygen O 8 1.20 g/kg DIN

Flouride F- 9 <0.1 g/kg Potentiometer

Sodium Na+ 11 382.61 g/kg FSM

Magnesium Mg 12 0.16 g/kg AAS

Aluminum Al 13 0.661 ppm AAS

Silicon Si 14 <0.1 g/kg AAS

Phosphorus P 15 <0.10 ppm ICG

Sulfur S 16 12.4 g/kg TXRF

Chloride Cl- 17 590.93 g/kg Gravimetrie

Potassium K+ 19 3.5 g/kg FSM

Calcium Ca 20 4.05 g/kg Titration

Scandium Sc 21 <0.0001 ppm FSK

Titanium Ti 22 <0.001 ppm FSK

Vanadium V 23 0.06 ppm AAS

Chromium Cr 24 0.05

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