The risks of excess salt for the body's defenses have been identified by a recent German study
A diet too rich in salt can compromise the body's immune defenses. This is the main conclusion of a study conducted by an active team at the university polyclinic of Bonn. Details of the scientific work were made public in the pages of the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The researchers started with the intention of studying the effects of a salt-rich diet on the immune system, focusing in particular on the ability to eradicate uropathogenic Escherichia Coli and Listeria monocytogenes.
Working on animal models – a sample of laboratory mice – the researchers found that, following the administration of a high salt diet, the infections were aggravated due to the lower antibacterial efficiency of neutrophils, immune agents of great importance.
In mice fed high-salt food patterns, the presence of pathogens was also found 1000 times higher than normal. As for the specific case of urinary infections, researchers have reported very slow healing times.
Getting into the results we remind you that the experts also monitored a group of human volunteers. After a week of follow-up and following the analysis of blood samples, they found that about 6 grams more salt per day are enough to put the immune system in difficulty.
At the base of everything there is the activation of a sort of "sensor" of sodium chloride present in the kidneys. The side effect is the accumulation of glucocorticoids in the body and the consequent inhibition of the functionality of the granulocytes, the immune cells most present in the bloodstream.
The results of the study were commented by Dr. Christian Kurts, one of the senior authors of the research. The expert stressed that, thanks to the work of his team, it is now possible to add another piece to the reasons why it is worth moderating the intake of salt at the table (when we focus on this aspect of daily nutrition, we tends to talk mainly about cardiovascular health risks due to high blood pressure).
We conclude by stressing the importance of never forgetting the WHO indications regarding the daily amount of salt in the diet, which should not exceed 5 grams (a teaspoonful). For any doubts and for advice on foods to avoid and those to include, the point of reference is obviously your doctor.