The words “Salt” and “Sodium” are used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.
What is Sodium?
Sodium is a cation mineral and one of the chemical elements found in salt compounds. The Sodium atom Na+is not a stable atom. The Na+ion will spontaneously attract an electron, but the Na+ atom will not spontaneously emit an electron.
Doctors may reasonably argue that they were thinking of real chemical contexts, where the cation is commonly found as part of real chemical substances (sodium drugs, sodium chloride, sodium preservatives, etc). However, the Na+atom alone would be highly unstable. Sodium can not exist alone. It must be paired with a negatively charged element to be stable.
What is Salt?
Salt is a compound of a cation and anion components. Sodium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Iodide are chemical names of Salts. These cation and anion compounds for crystal-like compounds that are abundant in nature. There are many uses from food-flavoring (sodium chloride), food-preserving (sodium nitrite) or drugs (phenobarbital sodium).
Salt is a doubles act. A double act, for an example, a comedy duo, is a comic pairing in which humor is derived from the uneven relationship between two partners, with drastically different personality or behavior. The straight man sets up jokes and then “feeds” them to his partner achieving the desired result – comedy.
Often one of the members of the duo – the straight man, – is portrayed as reasonable and serious, while the other one – the funny man, – is portrayed as funny, less educated or less intelligent, silly, or unorthodox. They are recognized as a pair, i.e. Penn & Teller, Ackroyd & Belushi, Martin & Lewis, etc. One goes with the other. When it involves Salt the recognized pairs are Sodium-Chloride, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Nitrite, Lithium Sulfate, etc. There are so many more with 50% of prescription drugs being salt.
In chemistry, a salt is an ionic compound that can be formed by the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. Salts are composed of related numbers of cations (positively charged ions) and anions (negative ions) so that the product is electrically neutral (without a net charge).
In comedy duos, the audience rarely identifies primarily with one character. It would be like referring to the duo as Teller – who does not speak; Belushi – who died of drug overdose; and Martin – who was always seen with a drink in his hand. It puts them totally out of the true nature of how they functioned as a duo.
When they split up, their careers as a result of the split are different. When Salt splits the positively charged Cation and the Negatively charged Anion do different functions in the body. Sodium (cation) is like the athlete that moves from team to team winning championships. When it is paired with a good team. Sometimes the other member of the pair does good things. Sometimes they do bad.
While most people have been indoctrinated it’s best to steer clear of putting salt in food or high-salt foods like movie-theater popcorn and French fries. If you are avoiding Sodium in your food, you may need to rethink the whole salt avoidance doctrine.
Americans love sodium chloride, also known as common table salt. According to the Medical community, they consume far too much. Their theory is unfortunately for savory-food fans, a diet high in sodium can wreak havoc on your health. According to the Harvard School of Public Health excess sodium increases your blood volume and with it, the strain on your heart and blood vessels. Where sodium goes, fluid flows.
In all of these studies were they using “Salt” or “Salt with all the bad additives”.
Why Would The Medical Community Tell Us To Avoid Sodium
Sodium is a necessary element for good health. 50% of the drugs they prescribe are “Salt”, some made with “Sodium”.
Drug Names and Their Pharmaceutical Salts – Clearing Up the Confusion
You may given the pharmacist a prescription for a medication. Not realizing you have been prescribed a “Salt” from the very same Doctor that is telling their patients to avoid “Salt” and “Sodium”.
For those with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or Diabetes, they are prescribed a Salt Drug called metformin hydrochloride, but when you receive your bottle and look it up on the internet, all you see is “metformin”, not “metformin hydrochloride.” Why is this? Is it the same drug your doctor ordered? What is “hydrochloride”?
Why Do Some Drugs Exist As A Salt?
The drug form is not always optimal for dissolution or absorption into your body. A drug needs to be absorbed to have a therapeutic effect, and it usually needs to be water-soluble. Therefore, drugs are often chemically made into a salt forms to enhance how the drug dissolves and to boost its absorption into your bloodstream. Over 50% of all drug molecules used in medicine exist as salts, most frequently as hydrochloride, sodium, or sulfate salts.
The Top 15 Most Common Drug Salts
- Hydrochloride (15.5%)
- Sodium (9%)
- Sulfate (4%)
- Acetate (2.5%)
- Phosphate/diphosphate (1.9%)
- Chloride (1.8%)
- Potassium (1.6%)
- Maleate (1.4%)
- Calcium (1.3%)
- Citrate (1.2%)
- Mesylate (1%)
- Nitrate (0.9%)
- Tartrate (0.8%)
- Aluminum (0.7%)
- Gluconate (0.7%)
But why are Doctors telling their patients to avoid “Salt” and “Sodium”, when 50% of drugs are Salts. The answer is simple. It depends what is attached to the Sodium. What other additives, i.e. anti-caking ingredients. An anticaking agent in salt is denoted in the ingredients, for example, as “anti-caking agent (554)”, which is sodium aluminosilicate, a man-made product. This product is present in many commercial table salts as well as dried milk, egg mixes, sugar products, flours and spices.
You May Explode If You Consume Sodium?
A possible reason that the Medical community recommends avoiding Sodium is that you may explode. What else could it be? In the Medical community, they identify primarily with one character – Sodium. Sodium is not stable without its “funny man”. Sodium is explosive in nature, especially when exposed to water.
There’s nothing like an explosion to get your attention. Remember when your high school teacher dropped a lump of sodium into water? Bang! Lesson learnt: “sodium” is highly reactive. The human body is 50% water. Therefore, if you consume “Sodium” you may spontaneously combust? Really? All Doctors have to attend college and are required to take multiple chemistry and physics classes. They had to have high GPAs to get into Medical school. Did they forget what was taught in Chemistry class?
Chemistry teachers love to use the sodium-water reaction when they are teaching students about the periodic table. Elements are grouped according to their properties. In the far right hand column of the table are the noble gases, stable and unreactive thanks to their full complement of orbiting electrons. Sodium on the opposite side of the table has the opposite properties. Its single outer electron makes the metal highly reactive and ready to combine with others at the first opportunity – such as the moment the Sodium hits water.
Sodium’s explosion in water has long been a mystery. Thanks to high speed super-fast video footage, scientists can now understand better sodium’s energetic reaction with water.
Spikes of metal could be seen shooting very rapidly out into the water, within less than half a millisecond of the two surfaces coming into contact. And there was a flash of a bluish purple color at about the same time.” ~ By Jonathan WebbScience reporter, BBC News (article – http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30983141
Health Benefits of Sodium
Sodium is an extremely important electrolyte and an essential ion present in the extracellular fluid (ECF). One of the health benefits of sodium is the pivotal role it plays in enzyme operations and muscle contraction. It is very important for osmoregulation and fluid maintenance within the human body. Other health benefits include improved heart performance, nervous system, and glucose absorption.
What is the Importance of Sodium?
Sodium is needed for blood regulation and its absence can cause serious impairment of bodily functions. It is a versatile element and occurs in more than eighty different forms. As an electrolyte, it regulates the bodily fluids and transmits electrical impulses in the body. Unlike other vitamins and minerals, heat has no effect on it. Therefore, it can be used in different ways and preparations without losing its effects. Also, it is an important constituent of nerves and helps to regulate muscle contractions.
Salt Controls Bacterial Growth
Salt controls bacterial growth in fermented foods. The bacterial growth is regulated by a sodium to water ratio. Using a salt with minerals and or additive will dilute the sodium ratio. The minerals already exist in the food being fermented. This applies to those using the popular Himalayan Salt. The mineral that give the pink color to the Himalayan salt dilutes sodium concentration. Plus, certain bacteria use the minerals to outcompete other bacteria creating an imbalance in the microbiome.
The Roles Salt Plays in Fermenting
There are several reasons why salt is preferable over other things when it comes to fermenting foods. Here are a few roles that salt plays in the process:
- Preservation—Salt inhibits the growth of undesirable bacteria and molds while allowing the growth of Lactobacilli.
- Dehydration—Salt pulls the moisture from the food product that bacteria require for growth.
- Promote texture—Salt hardens the pectin in vegetables, which results in a crunchy, more flavorful product.
Chloride is the lesser-known half of a better known as part of the double-act “sodium-chloride” otherwise known as table salt. Collectively referred to as “Sodium”.
It’s not a mineral you’ll read much about in the health magazines but it is still important to your health nonetheless.
Chloride is a type of electrolyte, which works in conjunction with sodium and potassium. This particular electrolyte is found mainly in the body fluids surrounding cells. It works with the other members of the electrolyte family to help control fluids within the body and maintain electrolyte balance.
Because our bodies prefer to be pH neutral, chloride helps maintain this by reducing acid levels. Chlorides act as neutralizing agents and their work helps to bring the acid/alkaline level back into balance.
Within the stomach, you’ll find that chloride appears in the form of hydrochloric acid. In order for your body to effectively digest food, hydrochloric acid helps break the food down and stimulates the release of pancreatic enzymes and bile, so that it can be absorbed by the small intestines.
In the liver, chloride may also help in the process of removing waste.
Sources of Chloride
You’ll find chloride in many processed foods such as ketchup, French fries, canned meats, canned vegetables and olives. Chloride is plentiful in processed foods because of the high levels of preservatives needed to keep these foods fresh.
Here in the USA there’s been a lot of bad press about salt. There’s been lot of TV ad campaigns encouraging us to reduce our salt intake because most people consume too much. However our bodies do require chloride and it’s suggested we take 750 mg/day.
Because of the bad press salt has many people don’t realize that salt is required by our bodies, so instead of reducing salt intake they cut it out all together.
Low blood pressure and a general feeling of weakness are two symptoms of a chloride deficiency. When chloride levels drop the body usually experiences a simultaneous loss of potassium via the urine. A condition known as alkalosis can develop if acid levels in the body drop too low. This is a dangerous condition that causes the blood pH to become elevated. When pH is elevated and the body becomes more alkaline, Red Blood Cells cannot release oxygen.
If your body is not getting enough chloride and potassium you develop hypokalemic metabolic alkalosis and its symptoms cause the affected person to lose the ability to control muscle function. This in turn causes problems with breathing and swallowing, and if not addressed, may lead to death. Learning about health is important, especially if you are wanting to build muscle quickly.
If you have suffered serious bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, excessive use of diuretics, or excessive fluid loss due to sweat then this can create a deficiency of the mineral. Many athletes take supplements of salt because drinking more water that is lost in sweat can dilute the salt within the body. Also when you exercise salt is excreted through your sweat so it’s important that it’s replaced.
Bad Ingredients In Salt
In the medicals studies reporting the bad aspects of “Salt”, or “Sodium”, which form were they using. Were they using pure Sodium Chloride, or were they using the store bought Salt with additives or Iodized Salt? Were they taking into account for the Sodium in the drug they were using? In all likelihood, they were using the additive ladened “Salt”.
Now, the bad news. If any of the following additives are in your table salt, relegate it to the laundry room and use it as an abrasive sink scrub instead.
Yellow prussiate of soda:
Yellow Prussiate of Soda is Sodium ferrocyanide in its hydrous form (which means Sodium ferrocyanide with water).
Sodium ferrocyanide is a chemical additive known as E 535. It is added to road and food grade salt as an anticaking agent. When combined with iron, it converts to a deep blue pigment called Prussian blue. In photography, it is used for bleaching, toning, and fixing. It is used as a stabilizer for the coating on welding rods. In the petroleum industry, it is used for removal of mercaptans. Sodium ferrocyanide is produced industrially from hydrogen cyanide.
So why it it in table salt? As it turns out yellow prussiate of soda kills two birds with one stone. Despite its name, it isn’t there to turn grey salt into yellow salt. Instead, it acts as a bleaching agent, turning grey salt into the white salt that westerners have come to associate with purity. Secondly, this additive also doubles as a flow agent. Without it, presumably your saltshaker would get clogged up.
Sodium silico-aluminate: Also known as E554, this additive is used to prevent caking and clumping. Remember, aluminum is NOT an essential mineral and in fact, the vast majority of chemists will agree it is a toxic metal for the human body. Less of a health concern is silica, a major element in sand and glass and possibly an essential mineral (silicon). Verdict? I’d avoid E554.
So how much sodium can you safely eat each day? First let us ask what is Sodium? Is there a difference between Sodium and Salt? What about Sodium Chloride?
Here is where the confusion begins. Salt, Sodium, and Sodium Chloride are all used synonymously. However, they are not the same.