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From: Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN (novick.vegsource.com)
Subject:         Re: Salt
Date: May 3, 2008 at 12:46 pm PST

In Reply to: Salt posted by Echo on May 2, 2008 at 11:08 am:

Hi Echo

Sodium chloride is sodium chloride and it does not really matter if it comes from salt mines on land, or from the sea.

While it is true that sea salt, has slightly less sodium per gram of salt, and has a few minerals, these are all completely irrelevant when you step back and put the claims in to perspective.

The Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, recommends healthy people limit their sodium intake to no more than 1200-1500 mgs per day. The set an upper limit of 2300 mgs, meaning that if you go over that on a regular basis, it is harmful.
We know the human body only needs around 115 mgs a day to prevent deficiency and so the US RDA set a "safe" minimum at 500 mgs. The Yamomamo Indians take in only around 220 mgs/day and have no negative effects.

A tsp of table salt is 2200 mgs of sodium. A tsp of Sea Salt is around 2000 mgs. Less, but as you can see, still a lot of sodium, relatively speaking.

Now according to the company Celtic Salt, a very popular promoter of sea salt, and based on the percentages they post on their website of the analysis of their product, a tsp of Celtic Sea Salt also contains

12 mgs of calcium
7 mgs of potassium
27 mgs of magnesium

The recommended amounts we need are

1000 mgs of calcium
4700 mgs of potassium
400 mgs of magnesium

So, in order for us to get in any significant amount of (lets say 25% of the recommended amount)

Calcium, we would need to also take in 41,000 mgs of sodium

Potassium, we would need to also take in 335,000 mgs of sodium

Magnesium, we would need to also take in 7,407 mgs of sodium

So, in other words, the amount of sodium in the sea salt we would take in to get any significant amount of those minerals, would be extremely dangerous if not toxic.

And, small amounts of sea salt, would offer no benefit form the minerals as the amount would be minuscule.

My recommendations are inline with the IOM and recommending the limit on total sodium.

If you choose to use sea salt as the source of your sodium, that is up to you, but it is not any healthier, safer, and/or more toxic than table salt.

In Health
Jeff

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