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From: Trevor Lockwood (
Subject:         Question about Salt
Date: November 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm PST

Hello there,
I came across this diet recently and I have just finished reading the
80/10/10 book.

I am open to the idea of this diet and whilst I cannot really argue
with the logic being presented, I am requiring some more scientific
basis behind some of the more "less-mainstream" topics discussed.
Naturally I began looking at the references. The book presents a large
number of references to support the conclusions, but there is no
references to support the notion that salt is a toxic poison. Why are
there no references to back up this very crucial and critical aspect of
this diet? If there are references that I have missed, please can you
let me know what they are?

Surely we cannot simply choose to base the idea of toxicity on the fact
that if we drink sea-water we die, because this is very much an
overdose of salt. We can also overdose on anything, including water.
This doesn't make water toxic.

If salt (sodium-chloride) was toxic then it would kill the most weak
and ill of health individuals. Yet it actually appears to do the
opposite to those in such perilous conditions when they are placed on a
0.15% sodium chloride and 0.09% potassium chloride saline drip in
hospital. Wouldn't it make the condition worse rather than improve if
sodium-chloride was inherently toxic regardless of dose?

The reason I ask this question is that I have background in the World
Health treatment of the third world, one of which is the rehydration
projects to treat severe dehydration due to illnesses that lead to
diarrhoea. Up to 1.2 million children die a year of dehydration, where
simply consumption of water has been not sufficient since it doesn't
"hold" in their bodies. This is why Oral Rehydration Solutions are
given. Rehydration is the replenishment of water AND electrolytes lost
through dehydration, not water alone.

The options given for treatment is use with either: Half (1/2) teaspoon
Salt and Six (6) teaspoons sugar or 1 packet of Oral Rehydration Salts
(ORS). The ORS solution consists of 75 mEq/l of sodium, 75 mmol/l of
glucose, 65 mEq/l chloride, 20 mEq/l potassium, and 10 mEq/l citrate.

Without the use of salt solutions millions upon millions in their most
weakest conditions are saved instead of perishing. To call Salt a toxic
poison is actually crucially careless advice to those who may be
dehydrated and choose to not rectify their electrolytes correctly.

Perhaps this should be clarified that over-consumption of salt is
toxic, and this could be said of anything. But it is my opinion from
reading his book that he advocates zero consumption of salt, advice
which goes against the grain of any real scientific logic and research.

I am seeking Dr Graham's clarification on what he believes as the
tipping point where we draw the line on a toxic dose of sodium

I understand that their will be view that sufficient electrolytes will
be consumed through adequate fruit consumption. The proof is in the
people who survive and potentially thrive without salt consumption.
Yes, this is possible. But correlation does not imply causation when it
comes to the sodium-chloride toxicity level.

Sodium and chloride are simply ionic minerals, and they are crucial
within the body as are all the other minerals. They are not toxic in
and of themselves, but they are when overdosed, just like any other
mineral or substance can be.

I understand that over-consumption of salt is a true and real problem
in our society. But I honestly feel that salt is not toxic as of
itself, only when over-consumed. If Dr Graham feels differently, then
I would like to hear his views and if possible the scientific research
to back his statements since the book did not have references to this
very crucial health issue.

My ultimate and only concern in asking this question is that if someone
who embarks on this diet finds themselves in a situation where they
require emergency rehydration whether through a hospital drip or ORS
they may choose to forgo proper treatment because they hold onto this
ideal that salt of any form or dose is toxic. When in a weakened state
of health, such an ideology will only strengthen their desire to resist
proven rehydration treatment since in a weakened state themselves they
will believe that the salt will make them worse, rather than better.

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