The great salt scam

One of the wonders of the great American west is the Great Salt Lake. But today’s informed physicians and scientists are wondering about “The Great Salt Scam.”Promulgated, of course, by none other than the federal government.

For years we’ve labored under bad science when it comes to salt and blood pressure.

We’ve been fed a steady diet of misinformation that salt raises blood pressure, causes hypertension, and can lead to premature death.

But the fact is, if you have healthy kidneys, your body should be able to get rid of any excess salt. Subject those kidneys to a huge amount of stress however, and you may have problems.

The real silent killer here folks is stress, not salt.

Nonetheless, the USDA still considers salt to be “public enemy No. 1.” That’s before fats, sugars, and alcohol.

And our old friends at the CDC have gone on record stating that reducing salt is as important to health as quitting cigarettes. (Of course, these guys haven’t gotten it entirely right when it comes to smoking either, but that’s a topic for another time. If you’re interested, you can learn more in my Insiders’ Library of Confidential Cures.)

The evidence for this anti-salt position has continued to be as pathetically weak as I first suspected when I first did my own research back in 1976-79.

Despite what the “science bureaucrats” have to say, real scientists—like medical journal editors and real public health professionals—have whispered for decades about how flimsy the evidence really is. In fact, it should be obvious to anyone who understands human patho-physiology. Of course, they mostly stopped teaching that in medical schools (in favor of test-tube molecular biology, etc.) so as not to confuse doctors with the facts.

The editor of the prestigious Journal of the AMA stated that “without any shadow of a doubt” the science bureaucrats pushing the low-salt dogma, “go way beyond the scientific facts.”

But why bother with the facts? After all, we’re facing yet another politicized, public-health policy to make people modify their behavior (one of the government’s favorite things to do)?

Now, real science, is finding that too much salt restriction can actually cause premature death.

So if you follow the USDA and CDC dogma, there is a real possibility that not only are you not helping yourself—you’re actually harming yourself!

Do these guys ever get anything right? Perhaps they’re afraid we’ll think of them as fools. (So they open their mouths and remove all doubt.)

But, believe it or not, these “new” findings actually first surfaced 40 years ago.

Always wanting to get ahead of the problem (even the ones they invent), in 1972, the NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) starting pushing the National High Blood Pressure Education Program to prevent high blood pressure—and pushing salt restriction—before any relevant experiments had been done!

Ironically, that same year, an article was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine that seriously questioned the benefit of reducing salt. It even warned about the potential harmful effects of low salt. (And as I revealed in my Insiders’ Library of Confidential Cures, we know that is not just water and fluids that are critically important to healthy hydration. Salts are essential as well.)

Of course, 1972 was the same year that President Nixon announced the “War on Cancer” to be led by the generals at NCI. Knowing how Washington science-bureaucrats operate, my guess is that the NHLBI needed to come up with a tactic to keep some attention (and funding) going to them. And not all to the NCI’s “War on Cancer.”

Thus, the salt story was upgraded from hypothesis to fact. And in the decades since, the NIH has wasted enormous sums of money on studies to try to go back and prove what they had already concluded. But they have consistently failed to find any conclusive evidence.

In fact, as I mentioned above, recent studies are finding that lowering salt to anywhere near the levels recommended by the NIH and CDC could very well be doing more harm than good. Nonetheless, the USDA and FDA held hearings as recently as November 2011 and said these findings should simply be ignored!


These initials are stamped all over almost every misdirected, “bad science” policy whose real motive is to control people’s behavior—whether or not it is good for them (and even if it is bad).

I learned the hard way years ago about getting the CDC to change its mind about anything when “science bureaucrats” have made up their minds, and also continue to make entire careers at taxpayer expense out of pushing misinformation. CDC has always been very good at investigating and helping control infectious diseases. Why did they have to get involved in chronic diseases like heart disease where they had no background ? (My guess is that government funding was decreasing for infectious diseases just as it was increasing for heart disease and cancer.)

Despite obstruction from NIH, I worked with my former MD/PhD Faculty Advisor at Penn, and Nobel laureate, Baruch S. Blumberg, to publish results showing that too much iron in the diet causes increased risk of cancer. But since CDC “policy” was to push iron supplements, we were viciously attacked and then ultimately ignored (except by the vitamin manufacturers, who subsequently created an entire new industry around iron-free supplements).

So nothing is likely to change anytime soon regarding the government’s stance on salt. But with this inside information, you’re now well-equipped to change yours.

New York Times, by Gary Taubes, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Independent Investigator, June 3, 2012, pp. 8 -9

“Salt, We Misjudged You,” The New York Times, June 2, 2012