Table-SaltSalt? Are you going to tell me it causes cancer?

Yep. Pass the salt…..

By Steve Born (April/May 2015 edition of Endurance News)

High salt consumption is widely known to be a leading cause of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. But here’s another serious reason to carefully monitor your salt intake: Research has linked high dietary salt intake with an increase risk of stomach cancer – the world’s fifth most common cancer. More than 950,000 new cases of stomach cancer were diagnosed in 2012 alone.

The role salt

Above: helicobacter pylori, an unwelcome quest in the human stomach.
Above: helicobacter pylori, an unwelcome quest in the human stomach.

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is considered the primary risk factor for stomach cancer because it causes stomach inflammation, which can progress to stomach cancer. The H. pylori bacterium is found in the stomach of approximately two-thirds of the world’s population

Some researchers believe that high sodium intake could make the H. pylori bacterium even more dangerous. “Although we don’t know exactly why salt increases the risk of stomach cancer, studies suggest it may encourage the growth of H. pylori and make it more toxic to the cells of the stomach, “ says Professor John Atherton, United European Gastroenterology Secretary General. “Most of us know that salt is associated with high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. However, I suspect very few people are aware that a high-salt diet may also increase the risk of stomach cancer.”

The average daily salt intake for Americans 2 years and up – yes, starting as low as 2 years old – is a staggering 8,500 mg (3,400 of elemental sodium), vastly more than is necessary for health. Protecting both your cardiovascular health and your stomach can be as easy as lowering your salt intake, especially as found in packaged/processed foods. According to Dr. Bill Misner, “The evidence is compelling – we eat too much salt and are losing around 92,000 American people every year. Salt is highly addictive but taking it out of the diet can be done to reduce the taste addition driven for sales of packaged foods to Americans.”

Excess sodium, what’s the deal?

The American Heart Association (AHA) has spoken out strongly in response to a recent report suggesting that high sodium intake isn’t so bad after all. According to the AHA website: “Some newer research questions the link between sodium consumption and health problems, but as the AHA reiterated previously, the connection is well-established and Americans should still be cutting back on salt. … Much of the research that questions sodium intake and health problems relies on flawed data …[or studies that were] poorly designed to examine the relationship between sodium intake and the health outcome of interest.” Read more at

The AHA says that most people consume about 3,400 mg of sodium a day, “more than twice the 1,500 mg recommended” for the average person. Those who lose large amounts of sodium in sweat, including competitive athletes, can safely consume a bit more sodium per day, says the AHA. Athletes are advised to consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium daily. For dozens of in-depth articles on the dangers of salt consumption, visit the Knowledge section of the Hammer Nutrition website:


About the Author Michael Lantz (Big Papa)

The Wellness Warrior™; Health & Leadership/Business Coach, Speaker, Blogger, Author, Ironman Triathlete Helping others live with more health and joy, paying for their dreams and make a difference in the world! Learn more: