I would have bet my house against one euro that if it was made a statistical survey with the following question: "According to you, what is the major cause of cardiovascular diseases, degenerative diseases and cancers", the majority of people, including many medical doctors, would have said: "The cigarette".
Why would I have expected this answer?
Because people, indoctrinated by the cathode tube, by the press, by the subliminal messages in advertising, are no longer thinking with their brain: they just respond like Pavlov’s dog, by conditioned reflex.
Had I made that bet after May 15, 2011, now I would probably be homeless!
In fact, from the 11 to the 14 of May, in Florence, Italy, was held the 42nd Congress of the ANMCO (National Association of Hospital Cardiologists) where the President, Scherillo Marino said:
"All segments of the population would benefit from salt reduction. The Advantages Would Be Even Higher Than Those Resulting From The Reduction Of Smoking, Of Overweight And Of The Reduction Of Hypercholesterolemia and it would provide assurance to savings in health costs between 7 and 16 billion Euros per year and it could greatly improve the quality of life in old age”
Just think, the Italian hospital cardiologists have refuted the WHO (World Health Organization) that, in the message to the world of last March, said that tobacco use is the leading cause of death!
Incidentally, this is the same WHO that, in the year 2009, had proclaimed that the world was threatened by a pandemic flu, worse than that of 1918. And that it was necessary that governments made supplies of H1N1 vaccine in time to protect the world’s population.
We all know how it went: people did not drink it in, they vaccinated no more than usual and influenza deaths were lower than those occurring during the annual, run-of-the-mill seasonal flu. Governments that had made the (morally imposed) supplies did not know how to get rid of the vaccines left on the shelves while the vaccine manufacturers made a house full of dollars!
Parenthesis closed. Let’s return to our cardiologists and the battle against the salt. Certainly they are not alone: For several decades, the literature, medical or otherwise, has been dealing abundantly with it. In 1974 the U.S. Senate, supported by numerous studies on the harmful effects of salt on health, had established the "Dietary Goals for the United States". Among these goals, there was the reduction of salt in the diet from 50 to 85%. But, of course, the Americans did not pay much attention to it. In fact, on April 2010, the FDA has decided to heavily intervene with a program for the progressive reduction of the use of salt in the diet. The decision, applauded by supporters, has been criticized by some conservative political leaders denouncing it as another attack on personal freedom of the government (see smoking bans).
MedPage Today published the article <Putting Down the Salt Shaker May Not Help Heart> where Dr. Robert Jasmer, University of California, made a systematic review of six studies in which 6257, normotensive or hypertensive, patients, were involved, and of a study of 232 patients with heart failure. The conclusion of this review was that salt restriction has not provided statistically significant results and, in the study of the patients with heart failure, the reduction of the salt had significantly increased mortality. The latter study was examined by Cochrane Reviews.
Who is right in this skirmish I do not know. Personally I think that salt (as tobacco, butter, alcohol and a myriad of other things), should be used <cum grano salis> (a little bit of intelligence).
Apart from that, the thing I find most interesting is :
THE DOWNGRADING OF SMOKING AS A CAUSE OF (ALMOST) ALL THE AILMENTS!