Salt – The Missing Link
One of the things that kind of annoys me about the way we are presented with things within the subject of health or nutrition is the one dimensional aspect of it.
I came across this article this week over on Authority Nutrition and it made me think of the whole salt, no salt argument again.
It seems that medical research is trapped in a mindset whereby whatever the condition is that they are presented with they tend to only look for causes of that condition from a “single cause” perspective.
Last week I wrote an article on the ever evolving argument over fats.
What is a good fat, what is a bad fat, how much fat blah, blah, blah. Salt is another of those subjects.
A condition or set of conditions such as heart disease or whatever is identified and then a search starts within the diets of those who suffer abnormally high incidence of that condition.
In the case of fats it was decided that the fats was the cause and 30 years of going around in circles ensued.
The same could be said for salt.
A group of people are identified as being at greater risk of a certain condition, we look at their diet and find high salt intake so hey presto, it must be the salt.
Everyone sees a bunch of guys standing around in white lab coats telling us the salt is bad and so a “health rule” is born.
When I look at that I think a little differently.
I am of the belief that the human body can quite easily balance itself in all manner of things.
In fact one of the main functions of the body is to do so.
So if people are eating a high salt diet then the question is not about any subsequent diseases or conditions.
The real question is that despite that high salt intake, why aren’t their bodies simply excreting the excess?
Why aren’t their bodies just balancing it all out?
The answer to that lies in how the body would achieve it and the answer is very simple.
All you need to do is to make sure the body has enough water to do its thing.
Not once in any of these studies showing high salt intake as the cause of some disease or condition, have I ever seen any reference to the average daily intake of water that those subjects had.
For me any study that casts light on to the subject of the Microbiota is a good thing.
If you don’t know what that word means it refers to the entire little ecosystem of bacteria that lives in the human gut.
After having followed this as a subject for a while now I can’t help but think that a lot of the problems we are facing today that we are going around in circles on have an answer in the microbiota.
What is becoming clear through research is that gut bacteria seems to be an engine room for the production of substances that are used by the body at almost a molecular level.
What I mean by that is that these bacteria are being discovered to be producing chemicals that the body needs to remain healthy but this production is so tiny that it has been completely overlooked.
The best example I think we have is the great oats experiment.
There has long been a connection between a reduction in the indicators of a propensity to heart disease by simply adding oats to the diet.
There have been enough studies done showing this connection that oat producers can actually claim a reduction in heart disease right there on the packaging without the government or any agency complaining.
What wasn’t know was why this was happening.
Further study revealed that the human didn’t really benefit so much directly from eating oats.
What was found was that the gut bacteria of the oat recipients really, really liked the oats!
Not only did the numbers of the bacteria increase dramatically but the diversity and health of that bacteria increased noticeably.
As a result of this renewed vigor all those little bacteria started to secrete various substances into the body and it was the appearance of those substances that caused the reduction in heart disease risk.
So it’s not surprising to find that people with an above average incidence of allergy also suffer from a reduction in the diversity of their microbiota.
- Americans With Allergies Have Low Microbiota Diversity
The Great Wheat Swindle
I wanted to take a moment to comment on this article I came across this week because it really does have importance.
Many years ago the idea that someone could be gluten intolerant would have been viewed with complete skepticism.
It would have made no sense to anyone that people could have an intolerance to a food product that was pretty much responsible for the survival of mankind in over half the regions of the world.
If people really could be intolerant to gluten then we probably would have died out as a species years ago!
Now this is not to say the we now have an identifiable condition known as Celiac disease which actually does result in people being gluten intolerant but the number of sufferers is very small.
Of course this situation was not helped by a study which then in very reserved terms stated that there was evidence of gluten intolerance outside those suffering from celiac disease.
As is usually the case in these matters, everyone went nuts and before too long we had anti-gluten leagues popping up all over the place!
Recently those same guys that did the original study conclusively showed that although the people without celiac disease were displaying identifiable symptoms that had been associated with gluten intolerance, it WAS NOT the gluten that was causing it.
However in this modern age of extremes the presentation of incontrovertible proof is seen as no reason to drop and already held idea.
So the gluten war rages on.
Unfortunately the side effect of this whole gluten or no gluten argument is that the search for what really is causing those intolerance symptoms has all but been dropped.
To me it seems quite simple.
If people were eating wheat products happily for centuries and then suddenly started getting adverse reactions to that wheat then the first thing to look at would be what changed with the wheat?
You don’t look at what is in wheat that is causing it, you look at what has changed about that wheat that could be the possible source of it?
Really, this is just logic.
- Ardent Mills Launches Plan To Double Us Organic Wheat Acres In Three Years
There are some pretty drastic solutions out there for dealing with dandruff most of which can contain some rather nasty chemicals.
Before you go for the nuclear option you might want to try some of these solutions to see if they can clear it up.
Dandruff can vary greatly in severity and very heavy dandruff may be an indicator of a more serious skin problem on the scalp. In that case a visit to the dermatologist may be in order but for light episodes it may be just a temporary dryness of the scalp.
Remember that all skin care starts with a well hydrated body so make sure you are drinking plenty of water each day as well.