The problem with scientific studies is that, in most cases, the number of participants is woefully small, there is almost always a hidden agenda, and they are designed to prove a theory that – itself – is based widely on conjecture and presumption rather than known and proven scientific fact.
The dangerous myth that salt raises blood pressure began more than 100 years ago, with French scientists Ambard and Beauchard. They based their findings on studies of just six patients.
It’s easy to understand the enthusiasm of such research; donor dollars are scarce and the competition to get them is fierce. Having said that, however, it’s important to recognize that poorly conducted studies or those that mean to change human behavior on a massive scale should be looked at with especially skeptical eyes.
One need look no further than the ongoing debate over coffee. We have lost track of how many times coffee has been proven to be bad for you just before it was proven to be good for you.
At the end of the day, the choices we make about what we put in our bodies rests solely with us – guided by our own scrutiny of the finer details of so many conflicting scientific studies.