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How salt harms health: Research by scientists

How salt harms health: Research by scientists How use of salt can be harmful to health (photo: Freepik)

Adding salt to food can pose a risk of developing chronic kidney disease. It is essential to know how to minimize the harmful impact on the body.

RBC-Ukraine explains how salt affects health and can be detrimental.

The provided information is based on sources such as research in the JAMA Network journal and the Public Health Center website.

Subject of the research

Researchers at Tulane University in the United States have identified a connection between the frequency of adding salt to food and an increased risk of chronic kidney disease.

The study authors examined data from 465,288 participants in the UK Biobank, aged 37 to 73 years, who initially did not have chronic kidney disease. They were divided into several categories based on the frequency of adding salt to their food - never, rarely, occasionally usually, and always.

Those who frequently added salt were more likely to have a higher body mass index and a reduced glomerular filtration rate (a key indicator of kidney function).

Individuals with the habit of adding extra salt to their food were also more likely to be smokers, suffer from diabetes, and have cardiovascular diseases.

Scientists calculated the impact of risks, taking into account additional factors such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol consumption, regular physical activity, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and other illnesses.

The observation period lasted for over 11 years, during which 22,031 cases of chronic kidney disease were recorded. Those who always added salt to their food had an elevated risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

Conclusion reached by scientists

The researchers noted that reducing salt intake in meals may contribute to a decrease in the risk of chronic kidney disease.

"In this group study involving 465,288 individuals, a higher frequency of adding salt to food, as reported by the patients themselves, was associated with an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease," as stated in the scientific paper.

To confirm these results, a posterior analysis or further research after clinical trials is required.

Chronic kidney disease refers to the progression of pathological processes leading to irreversible impairments in the functioning of the kidneys and their inability to perform their functions in purifying the blood and eliminating excess fluid.

How to minimize salt intake

To minimize salt intake, it is advisable to follow these recommendations:

  • Add only a small amount of salt during food preparation, or try not to add any at all. Instead, use spices such as pepper, dill, parsley, basil, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, turmeric, marjoram, cumin, coriander, curry, and paprika to enhance the flavor.

  • Remove the salt shaker from the kitchen table.

  • Reduce the consumption of salty snacks or processed foods in your diet.

  • Always check product labels and choose items with low sodium content.

For the normal functioning of the body, only a minimal amount of sodium is necessary. It is responsible for conducting nerve impulses, muscle contraction and relaxation, as well as maintaining the proper water-mineral balance in the body.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.