Did you know that salt is dubbed” white poison” by nutritionists?
A high-salt diet is detrimental to health and cognitive functions and is one of the leading causes of obesity. A study conducted at Weill Cornell Medicine explains how a high-salt diet impairs cognitive function in mice.
The same mechanism applies to humans. According to the study, low levels of nitric oxide in the brain affect the stability of tau proteins leading to dementia in mice — accumulation of tau proteins links with the development of Alzheimer’s in humans.
Dr. Giuseppe Faraco, the lead study author of the research published in 2018, establishes a relationship between dietary habits and brain function. In the study conducted, excessive salt consumption caused dementia in rodents.
They were unable to complete daily tasks or pass the memory tests. It concluded that high salt in the blood led to a release of a molecule known as interleukin-17 (IL-17) in the small intestine. It caused constriction of blood vessels in the brain, which reduced nitric oxide levels. Building on these findings, new research was conducted to study the effect of salt further.
Consider watching this video to know more about 5 signs you are eating too much salt….
Dr. Iadecola, the lead study author, said, “We thought there was something else going on here.” The researchers figured that the shortage of nitric oxide and constriction of blood vessels in the brain was not the direct cause of dementia.
The decrease in nitric oxide affected the stability of the tau proteins.
To better understand, a tau protein in the brain forms a structure of the neuron, also known as the cytoskeleton. This cytoskeleton helps in transporting food and materials across neurons for brain health.
As a result of high salt consumption, the tau protein detaches from the neurons in the brain, and accumulates inside. It prevents the passing of nutrients to the neurons causing cognitive problems.
Hence, the nitric oxide levels must be within acceptable limits so that the tau proteins are not affected.
The instability of tau proteins causes memory-related problems such as dementia and Alzheimer.
While more research is needed to study the effects of salt on human cognition, this study is a timely warning on the ill-effects of high salt consumption, especially at a time where the use of processed food is at an all-time high.
Comment below to let us know how you’re reducing salt intake from your diet!
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!