Another reason to hold off on the salt 36



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The latest research has revealed yet another reason why we should use salt sparingly in our own cooking and buy less high-salt fast food. And it has nothing to do with our blood pressure.

According to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation too much salt in food can push the immune system out of balance and cause chronic diseases.

The research team, led by Dr Katrina Binger, established that increased salt consumption by rodents leads to delayed healing of their wounds because it reduces the activity of protective immune cells.

Physicians and scientists studying nutrition have long agreed consuming too much salt in food is unhealthy and that table salt (sodium chloride) can elevate blood pressure. More recently, researchers have also discovered high-salt diets may also play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammation, as well as cancer.

But this latest study as gone a step further, successfully demonstrating that too much salt in food weakens a specific group of scavenger cells (macrophages) in the immune system.

This caused the healing of wounds to run slower – drastically increasing the chances of infection – because of the salt-related weakening of these particular scavenger cells.

Dr Binger said the clinical implications of this research are that eating too much salt doesn’t just elevate blood pressure – it compromises the balance of the immune system to directly cause chronic diseases. She plans to do further research to investigate the role of a high salt intake on diseases such as atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes.

Will this latest research make you cut down even further on high-salt takeaways? Or are there just some seasonings you cannot give up because they taste so good, salt being one of them?

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  1. Although my parents consumed virtually identical diets during their lifetime (and this included copious amounts of salt) my dad passed away in his 60s, my mum in her early 90s. Obviously life’s a gamble so I will take on board the sensible advice in this article and cut back on the takeaways and salt and just hope for the best.

  2. I couldn’t live without salt, I have it on everything, I even take my own salt shaker to a restaurant because you can never get one that the salt will come out of. I couldn’t eat an orange, apple or pineapple without it.

    1 REPLY
    • I have a shaker in every car. Salt must be very expensive, they never put enough on my chips

  3. From the eighties hubby has had high blood pressure (at that point 18 years as a shift worker) so salt and sugar were removed from the table. Yeah I know. Shift workers have high blood pressure so we’ll remove the salt! Anyway my children were years before they could tell the difference between salt and sugar. All my blood tests come back “low in salt” and after reading that all the dementia patients in a Denmark study had low salt – I’ve started putting that pink coarse salt on my food. Everything in moderation.

    1 REPLY
    • I was put on salt tablets last week because of low salt. They’re actually bicarbonate tabs, I suggested I put the bicarb in a cake and eat that but apparently not a good idea 😛

  4. Had my eldest son in 1972 day i left King George Hospital in Sydney Professor said to me “We have worked hard to get this baby when he starts to eat solids dont slowly kill him by putting salt in/on his food” I havent used salt since but when my son got older he choose to use salt?

  5. Lots of salt in packaged, bottled, canned goods. Also in store bought breads and bakery products. We have avoided them as much as possible, but add some pink Salt to taste at home

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