Modern diets are heavy in salt content. As we increasingly turn to pre-processed foods, both on the grocery store shelves as well as from restaurants keen to see customers return, the flavor and preservative properties of salt see it liberally applied to nearly every food we purchase and consume. Most Americans consume considerably more salt on a daily basis than the healthy recommendation.
High salt levels can lead to inflammation in the body. That inflammation, which manifests as swelling, can reduce the flow of blood through the brain as a result. When that occurs, not only is there a reduced level of oxygen available to the brain, but can also create a feedback loop of further inflammation as a chemical that can affect the lining of blood vessels is released into the body. The substance, IL-17, is released as part of an immune system response to high salt levels; but it can attack nitric acid when it’s present, and the brain utilizes nitric acid to help form new memories. When nitric acid levels are low, neurons in the brain function less effectively, and this can create memory and behavior changes.
Research is ongoing into Alzheimer’s as diagnosed patients grow in number, but medical science is still without a firm cure. But more and more information comes to light about risk factors, offering hope for those at-risk of cognitive decline.
Lots of salt is bad for more than your heart; it could be costing you your mind too. #HealthStatus
- 1Americans eat 50% more salt than the average person in the world.
- 2The Western Diet has too much salt intake and is not recommended.
- 3To live a healthier lifestyle we need to cut out salt in our diets and limit the amount of salt we intake.
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