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About these proceedings
Controversy regarding the wisdom of a high salt intake has been with us for 5000 years. In the Nei Ching, the oldest of the extant medical writings, the Yellow Emperor observed, "Hence, if too much salt is in the food, the pulse hardens, tears make their appearance, and the complexion changes". At about the same period in history, Job asked the question, "Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt?" It is not apparent whether or not the Almighty provided a clear answer. The connection between dietary salt intake and hypertension was appreciated following the observations of AMBARD, BEAUJARD, VOLLHARD, ALLEN, and others. However, DAHL emphasized this relationship, as demonstrated by his epidemiological observations, his studies in human subjects, and his development of a genetically mediated form of salt-sensitive hypertension in rats. DAHL and his followers argued that hypertension was a disease of acculturation, or even of self-abuse. Undaunted by skeptics such as PICKERING, they suggested that if Western man would merely curtail his intake of the granular condiment, hypertension would not develop and blood pressure would not increase with age. Bucolic native societies were given as examples where such cardiovascular bliss was readily attained.
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