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Taubes: Salt, We Misjudged You

mcf Jun 5, 2012 09:24 AM


June 2, 2012
Salt, We Misjudged You
Oakland, Calif.



"And yet, this eat-less-salt argument has been surprisingly controversial — and difficult to defend. Not because the food industry opposes it, but because the actual evidence to support it has always been so weak.

When I spent the better part of a year researching the state of the salt science back in 1998 — already a quarter century into the eat-less-salt recommendations — journal editors and public health administrators were still remarkably candid in their assessment of how flimsy the evidence was implicating salt as the cause of hypertension."

“You can say without any shadow of a doubt,” as I was told then by Drummond Rennie, an editor for The Journal of the American Medical Association, that the authorities pushing the eat-less-salt message had “made a commitment to salt education that goes way beyond the scientific facts.”


  1. eclecticsynergy Jun 24, 2012 02:48 AM

    A link to a 2011 post which I added to the other thread.


    1. s
      sandylc Jun 5, 2012 05:47 PM

      The politics and press will prevail. Not to mention the money trail. This reminds me of the butter/margarine study that lumped these two together, then blamed the bad outcomes on both of them (when margarine was solely to blame).

      1. monfrancisco Jun 5, 2012 04:08 PM

        Haven't checked the other thread yet, but here's my take: First, Yay. Second, I smiled at the name of the (anti-salt) research called the DASH-Sodium study. Isn't Mrs. Dash the lady who makes the hay-tasting salt substitutes? (Didn't bother looking up the source of the acronym.)

        1 Reply
        1. re: monfrancisco
          mcf Jun 5, 2012 05:22 PM

          Yes, ironic, eh? When I feel very fatigued and brain dead, I lick salt from my hand (or lite salt with potassium, too) and feel better within minutes. Salt alone also lowers my bp when it creeps up to high normal.

        2. cowboyardee Jun 5, 2012 10:52 AM

          You got beat to the punch on this one:

          Though that thread sorta got bogged down in a discussion of terminology.

          5 Replies
          1. re: cowboyardee
            GH1618 Jun 5, 2012 10:55 AM

            Right. No need for a second thread on this.

            1. re: GH1618
              mcf Jun 5, 2012 11:31 AM

              I did a search before I posted and didn't find one. In fact, I didn't find a number of threads about salt I'd recalled. I always check first, but have bad luck with CH searches. :-/

              Edit: that other thread is a mess... you have one poster lobbing the usual ad hominems and never reading the science, and another with an obsession over a non existent need to name things that no one else is confused about. Sheesh.

              1. re: mcf
                mcf Jun 5, 2012 12:16 PM

                Some additional citations I found...


                Conclusion. As previously suggested, these observations seem to indicate that strict salt restriction may cause, at least in the short-term, adverse metabolic changes in hypertensive patients.


                Conclusion.— These results do not support a general recommendation to reduce sodium intake. Reduced sodium intake may be used as a supplementary treatment in hypertension. Further long-term studies of the effects of high reduction of sodium intake on blood pressure and metabolic variables may clarify the disagreements as to the role of reduced sodium intake, but ideally trials with hard end points such as morbidity and survival should end the controversy.

                1. re: mcf
                  GH1618 Jun 5, 2012 05:56 PM

                  Your thread has the better title.

                  1. re: GH1618
                    mcf Jun 6, 2012 06:01 AM

                    Thanks! When does my award check come in the mail? ;-)

            2. buttertart Jun 5, 2012 10:31 AM

              Huzzah, hooray! And duck for incoming...

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