Holistic Health Thread

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
Thanks.

This whole salt conversation resonates very strongly with me and I am going to follow up. Until (yesterday?) I had no idea how much CRAP table salt goes through. No idea. When I consider the fact that the human body is basically skin wrapped around a saline solution, it only makes sense, to me, that what kind of salt and water we ingest can make a huge difference. And, when you add to the equation changes in the crystalline structure of salt, it seems intuitive to me that chemical reactions could be drastically different, from one type of salt to another. **

I just never knew. As always, I plan to do my due diligence (i.e. my own googling and my own reading.) But it just makes sense, to me.



** Maybe the crystalline thingie makes sense to me because I spent quite a bit of time in the semiconductor industry, where we "doped" one material with another, modifying its crystalline structure by very small amounts and completely changing the material's electrical properties. Small amount of doping. Drastic change.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
btw, my online source for Himalayan salt also sells Himalayan bath salts. Any thoughts on bath salts and their efficacy or lack thereof?

I didn't think the "Chef's Jar" of salt was all that expensive -- $15 for an 8-ounce jar. I don't use all that much salt for cooking, so that would probably last me a good long time. Of course, the description also says, "use for sole" and, since I don't yet have any clue of what that means, I might be using more salt than I think. :oops: *grin*

Pink salt? Very cool. :-D
 

DL

Well-Known Member
Sodium chloride is naturally present in all foods, both elements are essential. Human use began in pre-history. It was used extensively by early humans as a food preservative because of its toxic effect on micro-organisms and drying properties.
...
Sodium chloride is a toxic agent but it does not ordinarily occur in natural foods nor in most inland waters at toxic levels. It would appear that toxic levels are usually added by human intervention...

http://www.springer.com/food+science/journal/11130
I tried to follow that link, but I don't see how to get to the text you quoted.

In any case, in the sense of "toxic" employed above, just about anything qualifies. It's not toxic in the sense that, say, hemlock is toxic.

I don't see here a differentiation between health effects of consuming plain-old NaCl and those of consuming Himalayan Salt.

I think in the end it comes down to... how much "tinkering around" are you able to condone happening to your food before you consume it?

If common table salt has additives, and has minerals removed, and is heat treated, and is bleached, and is tinkered with to no end..... vs .... Himalayan salt which is delivered in a closer to natural state, uncontaminated, unrefined (kinda like organic food vs pesticide ridden, pasteurized, and preservative laden food)... which one are you gonna bet on?

And why would you want to eat "salt" that has been stripped of all of it nutrients so completely... that manufactures have to artifically add back in iodine, which is essential to human thyroid function and hormone balance.
This notion of a "natural state" for salt puzzles me. It seems unlikely to me that over time the human body adapted itself to a mineral mixture extracted from the Himalayas. Rock salt is mined in many places, with different mineral prevalence. For example, here's an MSU geology department page regarding the "natural" salt in the Detroit area:

http://www.geo.msu.edu/geogmich/saltminingM.html

What makes Himalayan salt more "natural" than Detroit salt? I'm getting the sense that those Detroit folks are missing a marketing opportunity.

Does natural salt always occur with iodine? Not where it's most abundant, in our oceans. According to the US Geological Survey (https://www.google.com/url?q=http:/...ds-cse&usg=AFQjCNFaP-KGfoULOJCQl-qdbzNcwpxoEQ), sea water is only .05 parts per million iodine. However, at 35g salt/kg water, (a ballpark figure; apparently it varies) sea water is 35,000 parts per million salt.

As for bleach -- where do you see that? It's naturally white, from what I can see in my reading. Different colors occur when it's mixed with different mineral deposits -- which even in nature it isn't always.

As for heat treatment, I'm not sure where you see that either, but I don't see how it matters. I remember learning back in 8th grade that NaCl's ionic bond was quite strong and more or less indifferent to any amount of heat any of us ever encounter (even in the broiler). If you'll accept data from "the salt institute" at http://web.archive.org/web/20132520...tinstitute.org/About-salt/Physical-properties (it's a materials information sheet; there are many other sources), it melts at 1,473.4° F.

As for salt's "nutrients" -- it *is* a nutrient. Certain levels of consumption are necessary; others are harmful.

In the midst of all this, I don't see any evidence that consuming quantity X of NaCl from a Himalyan salt container will have a different health effect than consuming the same quantity of NaCl from an iodized Morton's salt box.
 
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samina

Well-Known Member
P, years back, i used to buy himmy bath salts in bulk and do very saline bath soaks. i missed the aegean and the way i felt floating in its super-salinated water in the sunlight...felt like a human photovoltaic cell. :)

there are less expensive sources of himmy salt...check out the san fransisco salt company. although himalayancrystalsalt dot com has great packaging (the salt comes in re-useable cotton sacks you can hang in your pantry) and cheap shipping.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
P, years back, i used to buy himmy bath salts in bulk and do very saline bath soaks. i missed the aegean and the way i felt floating in its super-salinated water in the sunlight...felt like a human photovoltaic cell. :)

there are less expensive sources of himmy salt...check out the san fransisco salt company. although himalayancrystalsalt dot com has great packaging (the salt comes in re-useable cotton sacks you can hang in your pantry) and cheap shipping.

Thanks. I'll check it out. :-D
 

DL

Well-Known Member
.
Two: There was an interesting story on All Things Considered today regarding parasites that live in humans. According to this study, women infected with toxoplasma, a very common parasite among humans*, are 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than woman who are not infected. This is based on a study of thousands of Danish women that spanned several years. (A decade is the figure I THINK I remember from listening to the story. ) The authors of the study think that its results suggest that parasites may change the brains of the people they infect. Interesting stuff.

*toxoplasma = the parasite you can contact if you clean cat litter boxes. It's in cat feces; cats often get it from eating mice. Hmm.
There have been studies linking toxoplasmosis to other psychiatric issues such as schizophrenia as well and very devestating problems occur when babies are infected in utero. It is a very important parasite to consider.

That being said, I want to caution people regarding the statement on cats. it is true that cats are one of the major carriers of toxoplasmosis. However your own personal cat, especially if kept strictly indoors is very unlikely to transmit it to you. in the united states we are much more likely to become infected with toxoplasmosis through eating of undercooked meat or not throughly washing our fruits and vegetables. Cats get it from hunting infected animals (birds, mice etc) and then will shed oocysts in their feces for a brief period after infection. these oocysts will not be infective to us until they sporulate which at a typical household temperature will take 24 to 48 hours. So- if you clean the litter box daily it would never even have a chance to become infectious. One more reason to keep the litter box clean. If you keep your cat indoors they hopefully cant hunt (i guess some of us have indoor mouse problems)
however there are likely stray cats defecating in your garden, your child's uncovered sand box, possibly the soil at your local organic farmer etc. if your cat goes outside it can track in contaminated soil on their feet and if they walk on your kitchen counters possibly infect you.
Sorry about the rant but I have seen so many families giving up their cat when they become pregnant that it is a very touchy subject for me.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the clarification, latervet1. :cool: The NPR story was careful to make similar statements. It said something like, "Don't get rid of your cat. Take good care of it and keep it away from potential sources of contamination."
 

Purr

Well-Known Member
And, while I'm asking nosy questions, is the book Water And Salt: The Essence of Life: The Healing Power of Nature by Barbara Hendel and Peter Ferreira?
I just checked online, and my local library doesn't carry this book. Their search engine kicked out a number of interesting selections, though. I'm not sure if some or any of them are worth reading. It is helpful when someone recommends a specific title and/or author.
 

samina

Well-Known Member
I just checked online, and my local library doesn't carry this book. Their search engine kicked out a number of interesting selections, though. I'm not sure if some or any of them are worth reading. It is helpful when someone recommends a specific title and/or author.
just checked my library and i do still have the book -- i'd be happy to lend it out. if Pyg hasn't ordered hers first, i could send to her first, then on to you when she has finished it...
 

samina

Well-Known Member
awhile back the subject of fluoride's affects on health came up, in the context of another discussion. i limited my comments to its affect on thyroid function and didn't bring up its apparent ability to lower IQ.

but since Harvard researchers recently published their findings (in a federal government medical journal) that fluoride's neurotoxicity does appear to lower IQ and negatively impact children's neurodevelopment... i thought i'd share the link to that article & abstract, for the consideration of those that read this thread:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491930/
 
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pygmalion

Well-Known Member
Wow. Thanks for the info, sami.

This thread has truly been enlightening, to me, so far. My take overall, based on things I've learned here, through research, and through my own experience, is that folks who are determined to hold onto the Western model of medicine exclusively MAY BE destined for a cycle of getting sick and getting medicated. I'd rather just learn how to live so that I can be well. My $0.02.
 

DL

Well-Known Member
awhile back the subject of fluoride's affects on health came up, in the context of another discussion. i limited my comments to its affect on thyroid function and didn't bring up its apparent ability to lower IQ.

but since Harvard researchers recently published their findings (in a federal government medical journal) that fluoride's neurotoxicity does appear to lower IQ and negatively impact children's neurodevelopment... i thought i'd share the link to that article & abstract, for the consideration of those that read this thread:

http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action;jsessionid=5C98A897B69464FD44D98698EE9FC4A1?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.1104912
Just from reading the abstract (which seems to be all that is available so far):

1. It's a meta-analysis. Those are trendy these days. Some have considerable merit; others *really* don't. I'm just saying: read with even more care than usual, when you see "meta-analysis".

2. The authors conclude only that more research is needed, because of a possible scary thing (low IQ for children). This is an argument for more funding in the area those researchers research. Well, I'm not saying that necessarily means one thing or another, but bear it in mind.

3. The authors do *not* conclude that fluoride neurotoxicity is in fact demonstrated.

4. The authors found an effect of 0.45, on a scale where "normal" is a score of 100, based on a specific set of statistical techniques of their choosing. Personally, I would need to look them all up to really understand that number. Anybody here know about the technical details offhand?

5. I don't see a corresponding statement of the error tolerance for the IQ scores themselves. In fact, were the IQs included in the meta-analysis all measured the same way, with the same tests and error tolerances? Are IQ measurements accurate to within 0.45?

6. I see a list of *excluded* studies, but not *included* studies, nor a bibliography.

7. The statement, "many studies on fluoride neurotoxicity have been published in Chinese journals only" drew my attention. The authors drew from many sources. I don't know what they designate as "high" flouride exposure, nor what normal exposure levels (from treated drinking water, environmental contamination, or other sources) are in all the various parts of the world where the source studies were done. I note that researchers garner considerable career benefit from publishing in well-regarded western journals, if the journals will accept their articles.

8. In any case, there's actually no evidence here that the US population (including its children) suffer from diminished IQ as a result of fluoride neurotoxicity (whether from treated drinking water or from other sources).

Basically, I don't see a reason to conclude that fluoride is or isn't hurting our children's IQs, based on that abstract.
 

DL

Well-Known Member
Wow. Thanks for the info, sami.

This thread has truly been enlightening, to me, so far. My take overall, based on things I've learned here, through research, and through my own experience, is that folks who are determined to hold onto the Western model of medicine exclusively MAY BE destined for a cycle of getting sick and getting medicated. I'd rather just learn how to live so that I can be well. My $0.02.
My $0.02:

1. Be skeptical of what you read, whether western or eastern. When venturing into published articles, take care to understand the larger context in which those articles occur. Very often there is a community of people in particular sub-fields having a "conversation" spanning more than one or two articles. It's sometimes also a competition for funding. Be skeptical.

2. If someone recommends that you undertake a procedure or treatment for a particular condition, look for evidence that it actually works.

3. If someone tells you that A implies B, look for evidence that (i) B exists, and (ii) B actually is attributable to A. Don't be distracted by assertions that there's a clear mechanism of action by which A implies B, in the absence of such evidence.

I assert all of that regardless of "western" or "eastern" (whatever those mean).

I am *not* in academia. I welcome corrections/criticisms from DFers who are.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
There is no appropriate response (Believe me. I've tried to find one.) to the kind of arrogance that would allow someone to presume that a total stranger online needs critical thinking lessons, just because they disagree with me.

So I won't respond. I will, however, post a funny thing and a personal experience that are in my head ATM, for no apparent reason.

There's a commercial out right now. I forget what it's for. In the commercial, three guys are standing in front of a grill, talking. The first guy says something like, "So he won the 1935 [something to do with baseball]?" The third guy says, "I'm 99.995% sure." The guy in the middle says, "So you don't know." That's the punchline.

Personal experience. When I was in high school, I was terrible at team sports. I mean horrible. So, one day, I was in DREADED gym class, where we were broken into two teams to play a DREADED basketball game. One person was chosen to stand in the center of each of two circles. The person in the center had to throw the ball to each member of his/her team, then catch it. The team who got around the circle of throw/catch pairs first, won. Anyway. Every single time that dadgumed ball came my way, I dropped it or lost it or something, and my team lost. We lost three times in a row. When the fourth round started, the person in the middle of my circle stopped throwing the ball to me. Just plain skipped me and threw the ball to every other team member. It hurt my feelings, at the time, but made perfect sense, even then. I wasn't a basketball person (I'm still not -- I watch, but I can't play. ) so, since the rules didn't explicitly prohibit it, the team had no need to engage me in basketball "conversation." Just sayin.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
And back to fluoride: I've never seen an infant/toddler toothpaste that had fluoride. I wondered why, when I was first teaching DS to brush his teeth. Even back then, Baby Orajel toothpaste had no fluoride. Hmm. I wonder where one can find adult toothpaste without. Tom's of Maine?
 

DL

Well-Known Member
There is no appropriate response (Believe me. I've tried to find one.) to the kind of arrogance that would allow someone to presume that a total stranger online needs critical thinking lessons, just because they disagree with me.

You read an awful lot into my comments.

Basically, I saw this:

"Here's evidence that fluoride lowers IQ. Oh, and 'Harvard' and 'federal government'."

The intended gist of my response was:

"Er, I don't actually see evidence here that fluoride lowers IQ, and here's why."

Also I saw:

"*Totally* western is misguided."

And the intended gist of my response was:

"Whether western or eastern, here's what I think is important."


Well, if you think I'm all wet -- well, why not just lay out your reasons? I *promise* it won't hurt my feelings. There's a 99.995% chance that I'll think it's interesting conversation. Also, I promise it won't hurt my feelings.
 

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