Salt / Sodium's role in accelerating aging

A mendelian randomization study finds a significant correlation between genetically determined higher level of added salt in food & a higher risk of dementia; UK biobank data; Also significant in cognitive performance, dementia in AD, & undefined dementia: Association between adding salt in food and dementia in European descent: A mendelian randomization study 2024

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(For me and most people) Salt is addictive:
Salt addiction: a different kind of drug addiction
If I want to lower my salt intake, I get intense cravings (at night) and will go through a mini-kickoff period. And so it makes sense why some people that have tried reducing salt feel miserable and then when giving in and taking (a bit of) salt: they immediately feel better.
This could explain the conflicting evidence of short term studies vs longer term studies about salt intake and health. Going through a detox is not good for the body and it shows. However, if you can hang in for a few weeks, the detox symptons will subside and you will start to feel better.

Advantages that I seem to have recognized after a few months when my electrolytes have found a new equilibrium (not measured) :

  • lowers cortisol (less anxiety, calmer, better sleep, better focus)
  • easier to put on muscle mass
  • more emotional stability
  • improvements in (skin) auto-immunity issues and better wound healing
  • less estrogen dominant (manboobs are slowly disappearing)
  • less sensitive to hard noises (like breaking glass)
  • spontanously eating less calories (and so losing weight)
  • lower BP (but higher BP in the first few weeks !)
  • improvements in gout (but flare ups in the first few weeks !)
  • less muscle cramps (but more in the first few weeks !)
  • less inflammation (but more in the first few weeks !)

Don’t underestimate the length that food companies will go to to defend salt. It is pratically free, it is (not standalone but in other foods/drinks) addictive and everyone is literally wired to seek it (tastebuds).
And indeed, you need some to sustain (early ?) life, but … not much.
I think a typical Western person, by age 40-50 (?), probably has accumulated enough salt (under the skin) to last for the rest of their life: Time to rethink salt

I also think that the increases in salt (and sugar and oil) consumption are what drives the obesity crisis.
Sure, some people can handle it and don’t overeat, but most will be addicted and overeat.

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I supplement a lot with Sodium, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium in varying ratios. I wonder some times if an issue with salt (Sodium Chloride as opposed to other salts) is the Chloride rather than the Sodium.

I have been doing really quite well in terms of blood pressure recently with a high level of Sodium supplementation and looking back at my blood tests (weekly) a highish sodium figure can correlate with other good biomarkers (say Cystatin C).

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In any case, our tastebuds are reacting to the chloride part, that ‘stingy’ sensation. That’s why Potassium Chloride works great as Salt-lite replacement. Same thing in sugar, we are specifically looking for the fructose, not the glucose (which tastes bland by itself).
But these replacements are not better. That’s like giving methadone to addicts. Sure it is less harmfull, but it doesn’t ‘solve’ anything.

The anion for me is normally citrate.

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The only food that “needs” salt, for me, is steelcut oatmeal. I forget to add a pinch to the water about ½ the time. The oatmeal with a little salt is delicious, but without is nearly inedible (unless I add berries).

Welcome to the forum.
That’s an interesting talk.

I don’t really understand why salt is so harmful, yet, but all of the health agencies are saying we should have eat low amounts of salt, like they say we should have low cholesterol. I know a lot more about the latter. I wonder what they know.

It’s interesting in many ways, here’s the same person explaining the results.

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I posted this previously in the citrate thread. It seems like that’s the case:

A limited number of clinical observations also suggest that blood pressure is not increased in humans by high dietary Na+ intake in the absence of Cl−

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325190/

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Thanks for that. Having looked at things it appears that it is a mixture of Na and Cl. I wonder if there is any research on the effects of Potassium Chloride.

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How about replacing some of the salt Sodium bicarbonate with a pinch of sea salt? However, the taste can be bad. Endurance athletes use sodium bicarbonate, it reduces muscle acidity and thus improves performance.