High Salt Diets May Be Behind Rising Autoimmune Disease Rates, Studies Find

Posted by Payson on Thursday, March 7, 2013

High Salt Diets May Be Behind Rising Autoimmune Disease Rates, Studies Find.

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.

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