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Several doctors tell their patients to cut their salt intake for heart reasons. Sometimes this is good advice, but other times this can be deadly advice. Salt is critical for body functions. For my patients, I confirm with a blood test, not by guessing.

Salt intake that is too low may actually lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular events in addition to al-cause mortality. The European Heart Journal published an article in 2020, comparing salt intake to life expectancy. Their research study examined data from 181 countries. What they found was lack of salt intake was positively correlated with life expectancy and was inversely correlated with “all-cause mortality.” In other words, too little sodium in the body was found in the deceased from all causes of death combined.

It goes both ways. Too much salt can damage the heart, as well as too little salt can also damage the heart. This is why it is best for a doctor to avoid giving salt intake advice, unless those opinions are backed up with a blood test. Picture a bell curve in the reverse with the top of the bell going down, not up. If the salt intake is too high, meaning greater than about 5 grams and higher, adjusted for body weight, heart damage can occur. Salt intake less than about 3 grams per day, again adjusted for body weight, can also damage the heart. The sweet spot is between 3 to 5 grams per day. This is far too hard for the average person to figure out because salt may, or may not, be included in the foods we eat. It is not just about how much salt a person sprinkles on their food to increase taste, it is about habits. An appropriate blood test will tell the patient to “up” or “lower” their habits. As an example: Drinking a LOT of water can dilute the sodium levels in a person’s body to dangerously low levels. Drinking too little water with a larger salt intake does the reverse. Damages can occur to the heart in either direction. Again, it is back to habits.

Salt is composed of “sodium chloride” and breaks down in the body as separate atoms of “sodium” and “chloride.” The atomic symbol of salt is “Na” and of chloride is “Cl.” Salt is “NaCl.” Sodium is part of the very delicate and life giving critical balance of electrolytes. I am sure most patients have driven into them that maintaining electrolyte balance is critical to life, especially for the physically active.

Chloride is involved in digestion. The stomach secrets HCl, hydrochloric acid, to digest food. Chloride is part of the hydrochloric acid molecule. In my patients with poor digestion, lack of salt can be the culprit.

For my patients in whom I have recommended an increase of your daily habit of salt intake, these are part of the several reasons. Electrolytes are crucial for proper kidney function. Permanent kidney damage can result in lack of the proper balance of electrolytes. Over time, this could result in the need for kidney dialysis. If your kidneys fail, you will die. This may take several years to more fully manifest, but can eventually result is “kidney issues” and you wonder: why?

Muscle contraction is also dependent on electrolytes. I am not just talking about muscle contraction in sporting events. Your heart is also a muscle and likewise requires the proper balance of electrolytes, besides many other factors that were measured in your “Comprehensive Blood and Hair Analysis.” This also may take years to fully manifest. I have noticed in my patients whose electrolyte balances have been “off” for years, they usually have both “kidney issues” along side “heart issues.” Goes hand-in-hand.

HORMONES? When your body lacks salts, your brain detects this and sends signals to specific hormones that triggers an increased desire for more salty foods. Inversely, when your body has too much salt, other hormones are triggered to promote you to drink more water. If you eat too much salt with one meal, other hormones are activated to cause you to want less salt with the next meal.


1) Muscle Weakness, Cramps, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Brain Fog, Mental Confusion, and Forgetfulness. Lack of salt causes reduced water in the blood, causing insufficient blood volume, causing decreased blood circulation to the muscles as well as the brain. End result: Muscle cramping, chronic fatigue, as well as brain fog, mental confusion and forgetfulness.

2) Headaches: Salt (forming electrolytes) are needed to allow ample nerve signaling in the brain. Lack of salt causes nerves to shrink and get entangled. Insufficient salt reduces blood volume, in addition to decreasing nerve signaling, resulting in Headaches that become chronic. Lack of electrolytes also causes the material that covers the skull, called the periosteum, to shrink and tighten from the back of the skull, over the top, to the front of the skull behind the eyeballs, creating intensive frontal headaches behind the eyeballs.

3) Brief Dizziness when Arising from a Sitting or Squatting Position: Also known as Orthostatic Hypotension. Possible causes: Lack of salt and / or lack of blood sugar control.

4) Postural Orthostatic Tachcardia Syndrome: Most common cause is lack of salt causing decreased blood volume. When patient stands, heart has to race to get more blood to the brain because there is not enough salt, therefore not enough water, therefore not enough blood to the brain. Heart races to avoid dizziness and falling over.

5) Stress, Anxiety, Depression: Not enough salt causes the Sympathetic Nervous System, which is part of the Autonomic Nervous System, to go into overdrive to save the body. This means no rest from anxiety, leading to never getting a good night’s sleep. Which by the way, keeps cycling to more anxiety, more stress, more depression, in a never ending, accumulative cycle.

DISCLAIMER This information is provided for Educational Purposes Only and has NOT been designed to diagnose, treat or cure any health conditions. Please consult a qualified Health Care Professional with Nutritional Training to diagnose your health conditions and avoid self-diagnosis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not evaluated statements about these health topics or any suggested product compositions.