Eating too much salt can weaken immune system, says study

By: Lifestyle Desk |

Published: March 28, 2020 5:00:06 pm

People should not consume more than 0.17 ounces of salt per day, says WHO. (Source: Getty Images)

Eating too much salt in your food can weaken your immune system, a new study suggests, making it difficult for the body to fight bacterial infections.

For the study, researchers from the University Hospital of Bonn fed a high-salt diet to mice and found them to suffer from severe bacterial infections. Human volunteers were also given extra six grams of salt each day–which is about the salt content of two fast-food meals–and they were found to have developed immune deficiencies.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), people should not consume more than 0.17 ounces of salt per day, which is roughly about one teaspoon of salt.

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According to lead author Dr Katarzyna Jobin, University of Würzburg, the body keeps the salt concentration in the blood and in the various organs constant. The additional salt consumed with food is filtered out by kidneys and excreted through urine. The kidneys have a sodium chloride sensor that helps in salt excretion. This sensor causes glucocorticoids to accumulate in the body, restricting the function of common types of immune cells in the body, as reported by Daily Mail.

Christian Kurts from the University of Bonn added that the new study proved that excessive salt consumption weakens an important part of the immune system.

The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

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