Medical expert on IOM salt report: ‘Earth-shattering,’ ‘Changed the paradigm’

A very bad day for salt nannies continues.

The New York Times reports:

There are physiological consequences of consuming little sodium, said Dr. Michael H. Alderman, a dietary sodium expert at Albert Einstein College of Medicine who was not a member of the committee. As sodium levels plunge, triglyceride levels increase, insulin resistance increases, and the activity of the sympathetic nervous system increases. Each of these factors can increase the risk of heart disease.

“Those are all bad things,” Dr. Alderman said. “A health effect can’t be predicted by looking at one physiological consequence. There has to be a net effect.”

Medical and public health experts responded to the new assessment of the evidence with elation or concern, depending on where they stand in the salt debates.

“What they have done is earth-shattering,” Dr. Alderman said. “They have changed the paradigm of this issue. Until now it was all about blood pressure. Now they say it is more complicated.” The report, he predicted, “will have a big impact.”

6 thoughts on “Medical expert on IOM salt report: ‘Earth-shattering,’ ‘Changed the paradigm’”

  1. People love something to be scared of. Makes them feel precious, and they can feel so knowledgable when they discuss it with friends. Salt has been maligned many times before. Any doctor who believed the garbage the anti salt people were preaching is not one I would trust to diagnose even a common cold.

  2. You’re right. We operate on the best science we have, or one hopes so, and we change the operation as we learn and unlearn significant things.
    Probably some people are sensitive to salt and may need to restrict their use. Probably most people aren’t and can use salt as they like.
    Mr. Milloy’s work on cholesterol is also very interesting. Considering how much effort has gone into lowering cholesterol and redistributing “bad” and “good” cholesterol, all the more so since it seems like the cholesterol numbers are markers rather than causes.

  3. My mother-in-law was a “salt nanny” … but after she moved to a hotter, dryer climate, she experienced some odd symptoms — and the doctor determined that she had a deficiency of salt and prescribed salt pills! Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person!

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