Salt keeps our renin and aldersterone levels low. That’s good, because elevation of those hormones causes a stiffening of the heart, and death of heart cells (Zannad 1995).
Low-salt diets increase renin, and renin’s job is to increase blood pressure. Thus, low-salt diets are exactly the wrong solution to lower blood pressure.
I love natural foods and products, and a lot of their benefit is simply avoiding damage from the unnatural.
The benefits of absence are real, but presence is more tangible: tea prevents heart disease (de Koning Gans et al 2010), grapefruit prevents stroke (Cassidy et al 2012), cocoa lowers blood pressure (Shrime et al 2011). Yet some of these health benefits come from the absence of ultra-processed food chemicals. You only eat so much in a day; tea, grapefruit, and chocolate crowd out artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, etc.
“We’re paying top dollar for drugs that do very little.”
So said said Leonard Saltz, MD, chief of gastrointestinal oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
A piece in MedPage Today (Fauber et al 2014) reveals how the scam works. A big pharma company like Pfizer pays for a study on a drug, like lung cancer drug crizotinib.