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Monday, August 27, 2012

33: From My Readers — Part III

The other day I headed out for a walk at 10:00 a.m. Already the heat from the sun was intense; the humidity, suffocating. It made me feel weak. Once again I was glad for what I have learned about the need for extra salt in hot weather (see “Beating the Heat,” article #30). I made a mental note to have another half teaspoon in a glass of diluted juice when I got back to the house.

As I walked, the heat brought to mind a brief encounter at the Farmers’ Market last week. A woman came by my table to say hello. Her name is Joan. “What are you doing here today?” I asked. “You were here last week.” Joan comes to our market every three or four weeks with her Nuskin scanner, a device that is able to measure the level of anti-oxidants in your body. At $10 for this service, it is an inexpensive peek into how your body is doing nutritionally. If your anti-oxidants are low, she will show you her nutritional products.

But I digress. Joan explained that she’d driven all the way down from St. Albert just to pick up an order of fresh, chemical-free vegetables from our local Hutterites. Joan introduced me to her friend, who told me that Joan had forwarded “Beating the Heat” to her. “My son had sunstroke a couple of days ago,” she said. “I gave him a half-teaspoon of sea salt in some water and it really helped him. Thank you.”

Incidents like this are what make writing this column a privilege. How wonderful to know that a simply remedy has made a huge difference to someone, I thought as I walked along.

My stream of thought was interrupted as I spotted someone approaching from up ahead. It was a neighbour, just returning from his own daily constitutional. As we greeted each other, he mentioned that he had been reading some of my columns in the paper. Within minutes we were deep into a discussion on iodine. (Read: I was deep into a monologue on iodine.) This man, around my age, told me that he is using about $800-worth of prescription drugs every three months: a blood thinner that is upsetting his stomach, one of those muscle-wasting statins for cholesterol, something for high blood pressure, and I don’t know what else. He has also been diagnosed as type-II diabetic. Determined to get off these expensive meds with their scary side-effects, he has recently begun to see a naturopath, who has told him that 30% of his recovery will be from supplements but 70% will only be by his own initiative with exercise. So he is out walking, with serious intent, almost every day.

I was able to tell him some things about iodine that I have not yet touched on in my writings: it is a natural blood thinner; it will lower cholesterol; it can get people off (or at least reduce) their diabetes meds. As for high blood pressure, I suggested that he look into how sea salt can normalize it.

“I don’t use salt at all,” he said.

I cited as an illustration my 79-year-old acquaintance, a quintuple by-pass survivor, who now, since he began to add sea salt to his food, has achieved his lowest blood pressure ever.

My neighbour then bent down and folded his sock over to show me the indentation it had made in his puffy ankle. “Sea salt helps edema too,” I told him. (See Blog #30.) I promised to print him off a number of my articles that were pertinent to his issues, as he doesn’t use the internet, and then we went on our separate ways.

Another reader, Karen of, has evidently heard enough of my ravings to begin looking into some iodine for herself. She writes this:

“Last week I checked at both our local health food store and one of the pharmacies as to what iodine products they sold. The pharmacist informed me, ‘We have too much salt in our diet already, so we don’t sell iodine.’ The health food store also doesn’t sell iodine—though they do have kelp products for thyroid support. I see there’s room for some work here!”

If you’re thinking the pharmacist’s statement doesn’t make sense, you’re absolutely right. And yes, kelp is rich in iodine, but it will not deliver the doses I talk about. I checked seven different brands of kelp supplements. Their dosages range from the RDA to three times the RDA. By comparison, I was taking 80 times the RDA when I tested deficient in April. I currently take 240 times the recommended daily allowance, every day.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nancy - statins are commonly prescribed in cases of heart disease because they lower cholesterol. We do know that higher levels of cholesterol are associated with heart disease, but what we don't know is whether the heart issues are caused by the cholesterol or whether the two happen together as a result of some other cause. Big Pharma likes to promote the cholesterol hypothesis because they make lots of of profit from the sale of statins, but there is quite a lot of dissent among cardiac researchers, many of whom feel that taking statins can cause more problems than they solve, so is not necessary and potentially harmful. There is a group, The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS) with a website at - there's a lot of info here.