Study Links Processed Salt To Autoimmune Diseases

processed foods

Are processed foods disrupting our immune systems? Via True Activist:

The modern diet of processed foods could be to blame for a sharp increase in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, alopecia, asthma and eczema.

A team of scientists from Yale University in the U.S and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany, say junk food diets could be partly to blame. “This study is the first to indicate that excess refined and processed salt may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases,” they said.

The team from Yale University studied the role of T helper cells in the body. These activate and ‘help’ other cells to fight dangerous pathogens such as bacteria or viruses and battle infections. A subset of these cells – known as Th17 cells – also play an important role in the development of autoimmune diseases.

In their study, scientists discovered that exposing these cells in a lab to a table salt solution made them act more ‘aggressively.’ They found that mice fed a diet high in refined salts saw a dramatic increase in the number of Th17 cells in their nervous systems that promoted inflammation. They were also more likely to develop a severe form of a disease associated with multiple sclerosis in humans.

Refined, processed and bleached salts are the problem. Salt is critical to our health and is the most readily available nonmetallic mineral in the world. But our bodies are not designed to processed refined sodium chloride that has no nutritional value.

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  • swabby429

    Natural sea salt is cheap and available in health food stores and some supermarkets. I think kosher salt is similarly wholesome, too.

    • DeepCough

      I, too, buy natural sea salt because it tastes better, you need less of it for
      flavoring, plus it has those trace minerals that are completely absent in
      “table salt.”

  • emperorreagan

    I wouldn’t be surprised based on my personal experience. I changed my diet (less fast food/junk food, more cooking at home) and started working out regularly – haven’t needed asthma medication in over a decade now, after being heavily medicated as a kid.

  • InfvoCuernos

    Never mind the other shit it causes, salt is a leading cause of kidney stones. Once you have one of those little bastards, you’ll change up your diet real quick to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      The real american rite of “passage”?

    • RobertPPruitt

      It’s not so much the salt as it is the salt to potassium ratio. You need a lot of potassium to go with the salt we eat. Unfortunately the average “western” diet is almost completely backwards. We get 2-3 times(and in some cases much more) salt than we need, while at the same time we average but a fraction of the potassium we need. Salt and potassium work together to do their job. When you reverse the ratios then the body is unable to do its job and very bad things happen.

      Salt is very hard to get “naturally, as is potassium. But through modern technology salt has become plentiful, and pervasive(due to our natural fondness for it. BAD things happen without enough) We require a LOT more potassium however, and with our vast over-consumption of salt we need an even greater amount. The problem is that potassium is just as hard, if not harder to come by naturally than salt is(in large quantities), AND it doesn’t make bland foods taste great, so we don’t bother.

      Health guidelines recommend about twice the potassium as sodium. But to be honest if you eat an all natural diet with a lot of WHOLE fruits and vegetables, without adding any salt at all, it is pretty normal to get 50 and even 100 times more potassium than sodium. I would argue that we are designed to eat a diet of nothing but whole UN-processed foods, so our natural diet would be that 50-100 times more potassium than sodium ratio that we would get by eating naturally. Right now, if we are lucky we eat twice the amount of sodium than potassium, and many, if not most people(first world countries) eat even more sodium than potassium. That IS going to cause a lot of health problems…..and has.

      We can’t change the amount of nutrients we have evolved to eat the way we have and not expect something bad to happen as a result. Just look at the amount of potassium to salt ratios in whole natural foods and use that as your guide and we will be much healthier.

      I have been a BIG salt eater for most of my life and have had high blood pressure since I was 16(43 now), but in the last year or so I have been increasing my potassium through supplements and eating foods naturally high in potassium, and while I still have high blood pressure, it is coming down as I find more ways to increase my potassium.

      Most things we eat don’t work alone,and we need 2 or more things working together to get the job done.

      The omega’s are another good example. You need all 3 of them(3, 6 and 9) to be healthy(research on our hunter/gatherer ancestors, who ate only organic whole foods ate roughly a 1:1 ratio of 3/6(our bodies make omega 9), the problem is we get way too much omega 6 now(vegetable oils) than we do the 3′s(10-25 times more 6 than 3) and this is causing a lot of problems as well.

      If we let nature be our guide we would be much healthier. Just look at fish and cows. Wild fish contain a lot of omega 3, while farm raised(fed mostly corn/soybean) contain much less. Also cows fed on their native grasses are a decent source of omega 3, while corn/soybean fed cows contain basically zero, so we know that eating the foods you are designed to eat is better for you and eating foods you’re not designed to eat are bad for you(just look at the health problems on modern cows fed no grasses, it is a travesty)

      Look at this link to see the problems(reference links are provided) and eat naturally.

      http://chriskresser.com/how-too-much-omega-6-and-not-enough-omega-3-is-making-us-sick

      • http://www.KristinBennett.com Kristin Bennett

        I’m diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and find it ironic that this article is linking salt, and I think that you, Robert, are making a great point about ratios.

        For me, when I got my levels tested however I was found to be very deficient in both, and had to supplement both for a time, which is kind of backwards to this article so I’ll stop there…but I had to drop this little bit of contrasting info in here.

        I’ll ask about my ratios when I get my next test results now. :-)

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I was thinking about autoimmune diseses and how they were diagnosed, and when i looked it up One of the tests involves a marker for overall inflammation. Isn’t the western diet filled with highly inflammatory foods? (is it the salt or something else?)

  • http://www.howtostyleme.com/ Diana Gascon

    According to Dr. Mercola, processed salt is dried at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, the excessive heat alters the natural chemical structure of the salt, causing the potential for a myriad of health problems in your body…

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