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A study from Columbia University Medical School shows that salt restriction raises blood sugar and insulin levels, while salt loading lowers them.

Twenty-one people with high blood pressure were given four week periods of salt loading and salt restriction. Salt restriction caused a higher rise in blood sugar levels after both heathy people and diabetics were fed a sugar load. Salt restriction caused a higher rise in insulin levels in both diabetics and non diabetics. For years doctors have told people to restrict salt, even those who do not have high blood pressure. Most competitive athletes and serious exercisers know that they cannot recover from hard exercise without taking lots of salt. It is time for the doctors to tell their patients that salt restriction is highly controversial and that many doctors take lots of salt themselves and tell their patients to do the same. You should check with your doctor to see whether salt restriction will help or harm you. See report #D222.

RP Ames, The effect of sodium supplementation on glucose tolerance and insulin concentrations in patients with hypertension and diabetes mellitus. American Journal of Hypertension, 2001, Vol 14, Iss 7, Part 1, pp 653-659. Conclusion:"an abundant sodium intake may improve glucose tolerance and insulin resistance, especially in diabetic, salt-sensitive, and or medicated essential hypertensive subjects.". Address Ames RP, St Lukes Roosevelt Hosp, 1000 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019 USA

Checked 8/9/05

May 19th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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