Salt and Blood Pressure

For many, many years salt has been (wrongly) demonised as the causation for hypertension. There were never really any evidential studies that whole heartedly proved the connection between salt intake and high blood pressure, they were more mechanistic in nature and just concluded that correlation meant causation, and as we all know, that's not the case. In actual fact, as I will delve into a little deep in a minute, salt has many beneficial effects that will absolutely outweigh the loosely theorised correlation between salt intake and risk of hypertension.

Firstly lets just clarify, we will die without sufficient salt intake. PERIOD. Its essential for the maintenance of blood levels and heart beat, cell communication, nervous system function, hydration, digestion and endless other biological systems. People who limit salt intake in this day and age, will see more harmful effects than benefits of reducing sodium intake. [1] It is proved in the literature that over 80% of non-hypertensive individuals are completely desenstitive to the blood pressure increasing effect of sodium. And even hypertensive (high blood pressure) patients are still 55% desenstitive to the effects.

If you are limiting salt intake due to the fact it 'might' elevate your risk of hypertension (and by just a couple of counts only), based on very mechanistic, theorised research, a long time ago... The consequent salt restriction will largely increase your risk of relentless conditions and diseases; weight gain, insulin resistance, obesity, T2B, muscle weakness and fatigue, hypothyroidism, adrenal issues, higher triglycerides & cholesterol, elevated heart rate and essentially a much higher risk of mortality, especially from cardiovascular diseases. I'll let you make a decision as to what might be beneficial regarding consuming or restricting sodium intake.

So this was an extremely short and direct message to attempt to make you think about 'what the media says' or what the government recommends based in insufficient evidence. It doesn't take long to do your own research and data collection in an attempt to make your own decisions. If the government recommended cliff jumping, as it reduces blood pressure, would you do it? (obviously it doesn't reduce hypertension - just a joke)

As with anything, more is not better, so be careful and thoughtful in your administration of sodium, but it is definitely not a nutrient to restrict, and actually we should be consuming more, especially people who tend to eat fresh, healthy and non-processed foods, as their sodium levels will be much lower. Just to notes, if you are limiting your salt intake by just not salting your food, this will be a minute fraction of your daily sodium intake anyway, so just salt to taste (everything taste better with salt anyway)

I will do a more in-depth article in sodium and the ins and outs very soon, but here is just a taster to help people understand sodium is NOT the devil.

Published by Luke French | Health Coach | 14th July 2020

[1] Overlack A, Ruppert M, Kolloch R, et al. Divergent hemodynamic and hormonal responses to varying salt intake in normotensive subjects.Hypertension. 1993;22(3):331-338. doi:10.1161/01.hyp.22.3.331

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