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Ask Dr. Gott 7/3
How do sea salt and table salt differ?
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: Please explain the health benefits of using sea salt for cooking in place of regular iodized salt.
    DEAR READER: In a word, none. The only real difference is in the taste and texture, but both have identical nutritional values. Iodized table salt is generally derived from rock salt mined from mineral deposits and is fine-grained. Sea salt is harvested from sea water through evaporation and is available in both fine and coarse grains. Its flavor is more subtle and often preferred because it contains no iodine or additives.
    All people require iodine for normal thyroid function. Fish, dairy products and many processed foods contain adequate amounts, so all households on well-balanced diets can switch to sea salt without the risk of inadequate iodine intake. In fact, it is rare that a person consumes too little iodine, and it is more likely that too much is ingested.
    The general recommended intake of sodium (in any form) is between 1,500 and 2,300 milligrams daily for healthy adults. Excessive sodium can lead to hypertension, obesity, fluid retention and a host of other serious medical conditions. Salt makes food taste good, but it isn't good when consumed in excess. We've all seen people reach for a salt shaker without even tasting the food when dinner arrives at the table. They haven't any idea whether the food is oversalted to begin with or extremely spicy and doesn't need seasoning. The answer is to eliminate salt from foods prepared at home and to remove the salt shaker from the dinner table. It goes without saying that snacks are often high in sodium content and should be limited as well.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Hypertension."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I got a perm recently, and my hair is slowly falling out every day. I saw on television that some women even go bald as a result of getting a perm. Is it the chemicals in the product that cause this to happen?
    DEAR READER: The average healthy scalp contains 100,000 hairs, and each strand survives about 4-1/2 years. About 100 hairs are lost from the average head daily.
    A perm will produce waves or curls and can be done at home or professionally by a beautician. Those sold for home use are full of chemicals and can be extremely harsh, especially on fine-textured hair. In fact, a great deal of hair can fall out following a home perm during the simple act of combing. Those done by beauticians are safer and not as harsh.
    There are several reasons for hair loss. Some medications can weaken hair, causing it to fall out or break. Chemo and radiation therapy can cause hair loss, but both are vital treatments for fighting cancer. Emotional or physical stress, thyroid disease, hormonal changes, excessive shampooing and blow-drying are also linked to hair loss. Speak with your physician to determine whether the perm is, indeed, the cause of your problem.
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