Live Heart Healthy. Live Well & Live Long

Salt and Stomach Cancer

by | Aug 28, 2012

There are so many reasons to cut salt in your food. The World Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) in its just released report says that cutting salt consumption could significantly cut the risk of stomach cancer. Cutting your salt intake to 6 gm per day instead of the present average of 15 to 20 gm, according to this report, reduces the risk of stomach cancer by 15 to 20 %!

Keep in mind that the American Public Health Association (APHA), the largest association of public health professionals in the world currently recommends a salt intake of 1.5 gm. If this recommendation were to be followed, the reduction in the number of people who suffer from dreadful stomach cancer could dramatically reduce even more.
Stomach cancer worldwide is the second most common cause of cancer deaths. In the year 2008, about 990,000 people were diagnosed with stomach cancer. Of those nearly one million people who are diagnosed every year with stomach cancer, 80 percent do not live for even five years after diagnosis.
That’s hard to imagine, I know. Here’s why the survival record is so poor. Until stomach cancer reaches a good size, starts to bleed or grows through the walls of the stomach, it remains undetected. So it is usually not diagnosed until a very late stage, when it’s often too late to cure. As the cancer grows uncontrolled, the stomach cancer victim reaches a stage he cannot swallow any food, not even his own saliva. This tragic way to go is made all the more so by the fact that this gruesome disease can be prevented by simply cutting the salt we consume.
Studies from several worldwide centers have shown that salt consumption damages the inside lining of the stomach leading to infection by a specific bug called H. Pylori. Having an H pylori infection increases the risk of stomach cancer three to six times. Populations and ethnic groups across the world that commonly consume a lot of salty pickled foods suffer the highest incidence of stomach cancer for exactly this reason.
We have listed pickles as the number one unwanted food item in our book Salt Kills. Is there any good reason you cannot stop eating pickles? Who needs them? Why do we even manufacture pickles? There was a time when pickling helped to preserve food for later use. But now there is no viable excuse for eating pickles. If you think you are going to enjoy yourself now and worry about it later, or you think that somebody else rather than you will suffer the consequences of this intense salt consumption, you could be dead wrong. Do you really want to play those odds? Stomach cancer is not a good way to spend your final years and is a terrible way to end your life.
By simply cutting salt in our diets, the number of stomach cancer victims could go down by as much as 200, 000 every year. Just think about that number for a moment. Wouldn’t you rather fall into that category rather than among the almost 800,000 remaining victims? Cutting salt in your diet is very easy. Stop eating pickles for a start. That’s a no brainer.
  1. Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, Forman D, Mathers C, Parkin DM GLOBOCAN 2008 v1.2, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 10 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2010Helicobacter and Cancer Collaborative Group.
  2. Gastric cancer and Helicobacter pylori: a combined analysis of 12 case control studies nested within prospective cohorts. Gut 2001; 49(3):347–353.


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