Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Salt Of The Earth

"Clinical studies have suggested that insulin resistance might lead to sodium retention and extracellular fluid volume expansion, thereby increasing blood pressure responses to sodium intake. In this study, waist circumference was significantly associated with blood pressure responses to dietary sodium intake, implying that abdominal obesity might be an especially important factor in determining an individual’s blood pressure response to variation in sodium intake."

From here. Important study because previous research on salt and hypertension had shown mixed and contradictory findings. Maybe it was because people's waist circumference hadn't been sufficently studied as an important variable... Finding: fat people are more susceptible blood pressure increase due to dietary salt than skinny people.


I suppose some of you might be wondering about the reference to salt (and Australumptious sandwich/toast spread Vegemite, which packs a hefty sodium punch) in my blog yesterday. I had been browsing some medical stuff while playing with the iPhone and somehow the salt reference above snuck its way into the writing part of my brain... and hence into the blog. As the lady says, it's like an amusement park inside my head. You see, I have rather a rotund tummy, and my insulin resistance is growing... I'm a long way from being diabetic but when I returned a glucose tolerance test result that was 0.1 over the normal range, my GP told me 50% of my pancreas function was gone... That was a bit of shock treatment, I must admit...

Meanwhile, he said to change the subject away from his rapidly impending demise, did I tell you about my purchase in the antiquarian bookshop in Cairo last year? Hilarious. Old volume, 1850 or so, with stamps of the pyramid and the sphinx embossed on the cover. I thought it was going to be a learned tome about Egypt and ancient civilizations and their poetry and mysticism, etc..

[Addendum: Revelations of Egyptian Mysteries and Allegories of The Greek Lyric Poets CLEARLY INTERPRETED. History of the Works of Nature. With a Discourse on Health According With The Wisdom of the Ancients. Robert Howard M.D. London 1850.]

Title page of Part II. Reading the book with a coffee and cake(s). Inside the bookshop.

Turns out the author had never even been to Egypt. Turns out that "Poets" means the poet Hesiod. He is crazy doctor guy somewhere in England who had whipped himself into a strange health nutter's obsessionist frenzy. He'd become violently opposed to... minerals. He was definitely not like my friend Px who won't drink filtered or distilled water as there's "nothing in it".

Along with all minerals unprocessed by nature, hence tainted pieces of raw earth, salt was his main target. The only minerals allowed are those which were processed naturally in the factory of vegetables. He'd not let any obscure opportunity go where he might be able to drop the salt admonition. "The Queen of Sheba had big tits - but they would have been bigger if she abstained from adding salt to her potatoes!" sort of thing. He says all sorts of other weird stuff too, like volcanoes are caused by lightning: total fruitcake, great find on my part.

As I said, I don't have the book here in the office, it's at home. I'll try and find something quotable from it for you later, maybe tomorrow - I'm out for dinner tonight, must rush. A low salt dinner, with a view of the Pyramids.

[Addendum: How's this -- "Thus in accordance with the very clear evidence of nature, it is declared that man's fall [no less!], or disease and death, was occasioned by his departure from the vegetable kingdom, that is, the tree of life, and partaking of crude mineral substance, the source of death." pg 64. The Fall of Man was caused by Adam and Eve... eating salt. Nutter... I rest my case.]


p.s. on the subject of the iPhone -- I took my portable HDD home last night but forgot to set the sharing permission before I left the office, so I couldn't write any songs to it. Mother fucker! And today I left it at home... Sigh.


Old Knudsen said...

I know nothing about my health. A doctor once asked me if I wanted to see how much cholesterol I had and I said "no" I really didn't care as I don't believe in it. Salt is wonderful and who wants to live forever? is an iphone really inside yer eye? thats amazing. I had HDD when I was a kid so i learned nothing at school what a waste of 3 years.

expat@large said...

Knuds: no, that's an earCamera in yer eye. iPhone goes in yer ear. Makes sense to me.

Momentary Madness said...

I thought I - had something to say - must be alive, but now I can't think at all.
Maybe I dead.

Istvanski said...

I'm absolutely floored by all this research you've done...and you've ended up with an iphone?!? Is a Nokia n96 not good enough?

Are we at least allowed to even remenisce about a humble packet of Smiths' salt 'n' shake?

expat@large said...

Ivantski: don't think I'm just some nutter chasing all this research for hypochondriacal reason: trust me, I am "health professional" as we say in the "bend over and exhale slowly" trade. I subscribe to the monthly list of a few medical journals in vague chance that there's something related to my lazy employment. If there is, then I feel like I've done some work for the day. This one on salt was a bit of an iconoclastic article, as I always held the association of salt and ^BP was tenuous and more lifestyle related.

Or do you mean research into the phone? As for the N96, no, it's a piece of crap. The sound of Nokias is too soft - I am going deaf, or so I don't hear...

The rest is just me with nothing to do and a keyboard in front of me.

expat@large said...

Istvanski: sorry I spleeld your mane rongw.

Istvanski said...

re: salt - It'll always be the case. What tastes good is bad for you (Batgirl's minge perhaps? Not that I've tasted it, you understand...ahem). That's what 'they' keep telling us.
As for the N96, don't knock a Nokia. It comes equipped with a regular headphone output allowing you to connect it to a 1,000 watt PA (optional extra) meaning you'll never miss a call, wherever you are. You'll soon forget about any hearing impediments you may have when your back gives out from carrying all that stuff around...

Istvanski said...

Batgirl? I meant Batbitch. Whatever happened to her?

Word verification: hypedfi. That's yer iphone, that is ;-p

expat@large said...

Ist: Ha back at ya. The last two years my Nokia E61i has been getting softer and softer, plus I kept turning it off by pressing too hard against my head! - the new one I noyte that the moved the on-off switch to the top.

Batbitch was out here on her way around the round last month: we had lunch! She (Lisa, the real person) has been busy writing another novel I believe. She does sci-fi porn, believe it or not. I thought that Philip Jose Farmer (RIP last month) had said everything there was to say about shagging were-aliens, but obviously not.

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