Too much salt may trigger autoimmune diseases

spilled salt shaker

Increased salt consumption may be a key culprit behind rising rates of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, researchers reported on Wednesday in a trio of papers looking at the role of a specific class of cells linked with inflammation.

Reporting in the journal Nature, the researchers said high-salt diets increased levels of a type of immune cell linked with autoimmune disease. And mice genetically engineered to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) got much worse when they ate what amounted to a high-salt Western diet compared with mice who had more moderate salt intake.

The findings suggest that salt may play a previously unknown role in triggering autoimmune diseases such as MS or type 1 diabetes in individuals who are already genetically predisposed.

“It’s not bad genes. It’s not bad environment. It’s a bad interaction between the body’s cells and food,” said Dr. David Hafler, a professor of immunobiology at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and senior author of one of the three papers. READ FULL ARTICLE >>

RELATED ARTICLE: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130306134230.htm

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