Is pink salt unhealthy?
Updated: Nov 2
I've had a few inquiries from people concerned that they might harm their health by consuming pink Himalayan salt.
Please read this article:
And here is the study itself. Read it carefully:
Thank goodness for independent researchers! I'll add, though, that the news reports about their research are a little over the top in terms of negativity, but, hey, sensationalism sells!
Is our food safety agency missing in action?
When I first looked into pink salt, it was coming into New Zealand through a single importer. Their salt was certified as being safe for human consumption, including not contaminated with toxic elements. When was the last testing done by a government agency of all imported salt? Not in a while, it appears.
While it does concern me that there are toxins such as aluminium and lead in some samples, take note that the amounts of toxins vary enormously depending on the source of the sample. Salt from Peru, for example, was high in lead.
Before a company imports these products I understood they must receive approval from the Government's MPI agency that it is safe, including certified as not containing toxins other than in specified trace amounts within safe limits for human consumption. That there are some salt products on the market exceeding certain limits for toxins, this represents a failure by our safety agencies. This is unacceptable. When health professionals recommend a product to their clients, they must be confident that what is on the label is actually there and there are no undisclosed ingredients such as lead.
Are the amount of salt that a person would normally consume contain enough toxins to harm health?
In the Australian study, the amounts being quoted are per 100 grams. Most people will never exceed 10 grams of salt daily from a single source such as pink salt sprinkled on food. The actual amount of a toxin being ingested by added salt is presumably very low.
Salt assists detoxification of toxic elements
The body uses salt (sodium) to aid the detoxification of toxins such as lead and aluminium. Salt keeps a toxin in solution, thus assisting its elimination from tissues. I think the benefits of adding salt for assisting detoxification outweigh the downsides, so long as the salt being consumed has low levels of toxins such as aluminium and lead. More about sodium here: https://arltma.com/mineral-information/sodium/
Should we all be cutting back on salt, anyway?
When doing hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA), I conclude that approximately 80% of the people tested will benefit from adding more salt to their food - not less. This is because of the epidemic of adrenal fatigue, which shows as low tissue sodium and potassium levels on the HTMA. In such cases, the worst thing to do is to restrict salt intake.
A trace element is a trace element
The trace elements in a multimineral salt are - well - trace, found in the body in just a few parts per million. I dispute that the claim that the levels of trace elements in pink salt are insignificant. Without trace elements such as zinc and selenium, we will get sick and die too early. A multimineral salt is one of many sources of trace minerals and they all contribute and add up.
Sodium is essential for immune health
Salt is essential for the immune system with combating infections. The immune system will concentrate sodium at the site of infection, making life difficult for the invading organisms.
Think of all of those thousands of elderly people on salt-restricted diets, engaged in a life-and-death struggle against killer infections such as pneumonia!
Is there any evidence of harm from toxic elements by consuming pink salt?
I've now reviewed thousands of HTMA, including many repeat tests of people over a decade or longer. Many of these people have been consuming above average amounts of pink salt. I have seen no evidence of an elevation of toxins related to salt consumption. The health benefits of salt consumption outweigh the downsides.
As they say it: "The proof of the pudding is in the eating". I have never seen any evidence of harm from consuming pink salt, inclusing testing for toxic elements.
My advice is therefore this:
Ask your supplier for an assurance that there are no toxins in the pink salt on their shelves. If we all do this, there will be action and we'll be helping everyone.
Avoid salt from Peru unless it is certified as being free of excess contaminants such as lead.
Get yourself tested to determine your sodium needs and if there are any toxins accumulating in your body, then go from there. Here is the test to order: https://www.garymoller.com/product-page/htma-comprehensive-test-nz-clients-only