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How Intake Of Excess Dietary Salt Compromises Immunity Against Bacteria

How Intake Of Excess Dietary Salt Compromises Immunity Against Bacteria

Research in mice and humans has found that consuming more than the recommended amount of salt disrupts the antibacterial function of a type of immune cell. According to, there was evidence that excess dietary salt raises blood pressure, which was a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

A recent study, published in Science Translational Medicine, however, suggested that excess salt consumption could also make it harder for the immune system to destroy bacteria in some human organs.

READ ALSO: Neurologist Advises On How Homemade Food & Minimal Salt Intake Can Prevent Kidney Diseases

The researchers from the University Hospital of Bonn in Germany were surprised to discover that a high salt diet in mice exacerbated a common bacterial infection of the kidneys – Escherichia coli.

To test whether the deleterious result of a high salt diet was purely a local effect on the kidneys, the researchers infected the mice with Listeria and found that the body-wide, systemic infection was also worse on a high salt diet.

“These findings were unexpected because previous research has found that excess dietary salt prolongs healing in animals infected with skin parasites.

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“Skin acts as a reservoir for excess salt, and immune cells in the skin called macrophages are known to become more active in these salty conditions.

In contrast, it seems that a different type of immune response cell, the neutrophil, which is key to the body fighting bacterial kidney infections, becomes less effective in the face of a high salt diet,”

the researchers wrote.

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