To The Food Standard’s Agency

Dear Sir or Madam

I think you are not quite right about the role of salt. The link below to a paper on an indepth study on rats, that has been cited in various publications, shows that hypertension in rats could not be blunted by reducing salt.

Click on Blood Pressure and Its Regulation in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats Bred on the Lowest Sodium Diet for Normal Growth
for the full paper:

Therefore advising people to reduce salt will not blunt their hypertension and may even cause ill-health because of a lack of salt. If you read the paper you will read that there was an effect on the sympathetic nerves where salt was depleted:

“More severe restriction or depletion of sodium, however, was reported to decrease the sympathetic nervous function.”

Sodium from salt is required by the sympathetic nervous system and aids the ‘spark’ for the nerve impulse to jump the synapse (gaps) between the nerve fibres. Salt therefore plays an essential role. Healthy nerve impusles are essential, for example, they help the muscles of the heart to move.

In my experience it is allergens which cause the body to increase water in the tissues in order to dilute what the body perceives as toxins and this increase of water is not due to salt but allergens and that increase of fluid may be causing the hypertension.

Your campaign may be aiming at reducing refined carbohydrates in the diet because you suggest that all manufactured foods contain salt, the foods you mentioned also contain refined carbohydrates.

Food Standard’s Agency advice about Salt

Refined carbohydrates provide the body with energy which the liver stores as glycogen. If this glycogen is not used, the glycogen is then stored all around the body at various sites including arterties and veins as FAT. This fat clogs up the arteries and veins causing a restriction and therefore pressure which may also be the cause of hypertension.

But I am not a nutritionist or scientist so I could be completely wrong. The paper quoted above is a study on blood pressure, salt and rats and not a study on the sympathetic nervous system. As salt affects growth and the sympathetic nervous system, the growth rate and sympathetic nerves had to be taken into account when conducting the trials. Various papers were cited to show the precautions taken, one citation being the quote above: “More severe restriction or depletion of sodium, however, was reported to decrease the sympathetic nervous function.”

I think for the sake of the health of the nation you should re-phrase your salt campaign.

This email has been published on: Marianne Gutierrez

Yours faithfully

Marianne Gutierrez

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