Iranian Researcher Suggests Too Much Salt Could Increase Diabetes Risk

Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 12:49

An Iranian researcher, Dr. Bahareh Rasouli, of the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden - in collaboration with researchers from other Swedish and Finnish institutions have suggested that sodium, which we commonly ingest through salt, or sodium chloride, could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes in adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Type 2 diabetes accounts for up to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases and is characterized by abnormal levels of blood sugar. Another metabolic condition called latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), is a more slowly progressing disease, and it does not initially require insulin treatment.

Based on the new study conducted by Dr. Bahareh Rasouli in collaboration with researchers from other Swedish and Finnish institutions, the sodium we usually absorb from our daily intake of salt may significantly increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The team explains that this may be because sodium impacts insulin resistance, but also because excess salt can lead to hypertension and gaining excess weight. But until now, no studies had looked at the impact of sodium intake on the risk of LADA.

"Given the autoimmune component of LADA," Dr. Rasouli explained to Medical News Today, "we hypothesized that a high-salt diet may accelerate autoimmunity and play a role in the pathogenesis [disease development] of LADA.

"Also," she added, "there are limited data on the association between sodium intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, we aimed to study the risk of LADA and type 2 diabetes in relation to sodium intake."

The researchers found that each extra gram of sodium (or 2.5 grams of salt) per day was linked to a 43 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes. For LADA, each extra gram of sodium led to a 73 percent increase in developing the condition.

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