It is imperative to consume refined and properly iodized salt regularly to avoid sodium and iodine deficiency which can be lethal for the human body

Salt has been part of human civilization for thousands of years. Many of us might consider it as an extraneous part of our daily lives, used only to flavor our food. However, it meant much more to our ancestors. Salt was a valuable commodity, the key ingredient for food preservation. Over time, humans devised effective ways of salt production, which made it readily available all over the world. In recent years, salt has been blamed for several poor health outcomes, which has led to a significant reduction in salt consumption. As much as we love to blame it for health risks, salt intake is pivotal for good health. It also plays a vital role in our body functions, and deficiency of it can be dangerous. A minimum amount of salt is necessary for survival. The Institute of Medicine recommends that healthy adults consume 1500 mg of sodium, or 3.8 grams of salt, per day to replace the amount lost daily on average through sweat and urination.

Dangers of Salt Deficiency
Increase in insulin resistance: Sodium is a key component of table salt. There is a high correlation between low sodium diet and increased insulin resistance, in the form of inadequate response to hormone insulin by the human body. It leads to higher blood sugar levels in the human body. Insulin resistance is grievous to the human body and induces severe disorders like Type 2 diabetics and heart disease.

Increased risk of hypothermia (low levels of sodium in blood): Hypothermia is defined by a low level of sodium in blood. Severe cases of hypothermia have been known to cause permanent brain injury, seizures, and even coma.

Irregularity in Renin and Aldosterone system: The system is responsible for regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and systemic vascular resistance. A drop-in sodium (table salt) intake may stimulate irregularity in the system. A significant increase in renin and aldosterone is a symptom of sodium insufficiency and has been shown to occur as salt intake drops below 1.5 teaspoons per day.

In Bangladesh, consumers have access to both refined and unrefined salt. Unrefined salt is generally dried from seawater and in some cases, mined from inland ocean beds. Unrefined (impure) salt can be a severe health hazard; they contain harmful chemicals like sodium sulfate. Impure salt can have severe consequences, including damaging the kidney. They can also cause swelling of the body and nausea. According to BSTI, an analysis of the impure and substandard salt revealed traces of excess sodium chloride (91.5%), 7.5% sodium, and 1% moisture; it can cause serious health consequences.
On the other hand, refined salt is filtered pure and contains added iodine. Iodine is essential for the overall growth and cognitive development of the human body. The salt iodization process ensures that this vital micronutrient is more available and accessible to the population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a third of the world’s population has inadequate iodine intake. In Bangladesh, that number is as high as sixty million (60,000,000) people, causing hypothyroidism, resulting in thyroid enlargement, mental retardation, increased neonatal and infant mortality, retardation of growth and development of the central nervous system in children (cretinism), reproductive failure, and an increase in the fluid in the tissues. The WHO report also states a total of 14.5-gram iodized table salt intake per person per day is mandatory to reduce iodine deficiency among Bangladeshis.

Therefore, it is essential for Bangladeshi consumers to use refined salt in their daily consumption. The refined salts must comply with international and Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) regulations to ensure purity and adequate iodization.

Unfortunately, most branded salts in the market failed to meet the benchmarks set by the authorities. A report by WHO concluded that most salts in Bangladesh contain impurities and lack adequate levels of iodine. It is causing iodine deficiency among Bangladeshis in large numbers.

It is a grim statistic and has the stakeholders in the health sector in distress. Salt is consumed all across Bangladesh daily, and the unavailability of refined iodized salt will only push consumers towards under refined and under iodized salt brands. Fortunately, there is a silver lining among the dark clouds; there is a brand consumers can put their faith in. Fresh Super Premium Salt has passed every compliance test set by Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI). It is produced by using the combination of Switzerland’s Latest USD Technology and Vacuum Evaporation System which can remove all impurities and ensures a natural balance of all minerals like Sodium Chloride, Iodine, Calcium, and Magnesium. The state-of-the-art USD Technology and Vacuum Evaporation System ensures that the impurities which are harmful to the human body are removed, salt is processed at high temperatures eliminating the presence of harmful bacteria. Most importantly, it contains balanced iodine adequate for the population of our country; Fresh Premium Super Salt has set a benchmark for purity and quality of refined salts in Bangladesh.

Asif Siddique Tarafdar is the Staff Writer of Ice Today& Ice Business Times. He has completed BSS in Economics from BRAC University and vocal about disability rights and inclusion. Currently, studying MDS at Jahangirnagar University he is also a former Flight Cadet of the Bangladesh Air Force.