2

votes

Does the link to autoimmune disease change your perception of salt consumption?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 06, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Evidently salt causes a proliferation of TH17 cells that overproduce interleukin-17, which has been linked to some autoimmune diseases.

http://www.nature.com/news/salt-linked-to-autoimmune-diseases-1.12555

I do love salt, but my immune system is enough of a concern that I'll cut it down, just to be safe. Any reason that I shouldn't be worried? What are your thoughts on these results? For fun, here's what computer nerds think:

http://science.slashdot.org/story/13/03/06/2010251/salt-linked-to-autoimmune-diseases

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on July 27, 2013
at 09:18 AM

or u can eat too much bacon and pork rinds like me lol. too much Na

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on March 07, 2013
at 04:36 PM

That's good to hear. Maybe indicates that not all autoimmune conditions are negatively affected by salt, some positively!

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on March 07, 2013
at 04:31 PM

Right, this has been my general impression too, and maybe I'm just in a 'better safe than sorry' mood lately. Bubbie's sauerkraut is made with CaCl, which I eat that twice a day. Re: processed foods - at least it looks like the mainstream media is starting to catch on with our sentiment here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21682779

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on March 07, 2013
at 04:27 PM

Re: the link is not salt: Wu et al (Fig 4e) demonstrate differences in clinical disease progression on mice fed control vs high salt diet. Water access was not restricted. Maybe salt only matters in pathologically high concentrations for a small number of autoimmune diseases, but in those cases, it seems to be the salt.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 07, 2013
at 03:33 PM

I'd actually wager they've been done, but I simply don't have the interest in digging through the Google-verse to find them.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 07, 2013
at 03:32 PM

I mean, seriously, talk of carbon nanotubes and two irrelevant rambling blog posts...

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 07, 2013
at 01:41 PM

@Quilt, what a bunch of nonsense...

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on March 07, 2013
at 02:25 AM

too bad the link is not salt......it is poor water consumption. Carbon nanotubes get dehydrated with NaCL. IT is the paleo diet fail. I talked about this here :http://www.jackkruse.com/what-are-the-top-ten-paleo-supplements/ and here: http://www.jackkruse.com/brain-gut-12-dare-to-disagree/

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on March 06, 2013
at 11:43 PM

They're arguing that those studies haven't been conducted, but should. The main uncertainty is whether/how much an increased salt concentration in vitro can be caused by a particular amount of consumption. This may be known, but not by me.

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on March 06, 2013
at 11:38 PM

"Additionally, excess salt content in diet should be investigated as a potential environmental risk factor for autoimmune diseases. However, this study would be difficult in Western cultures where the application of a true low-salt diet, representing the conditions in which Homo sapiens were environmentally selected in Africa, is difficult to achieve. " So it looks like they want to test the consumption of any little bit of salt, not just a pathological amount that only the saddest Americans might consume. That doesn't mean we must worry, but it still gives me pause.

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on March 06, 2013
at 11:38 PM

I guess the question is what constitutes 'high salt'? There's no direct link (at least in the article) between salt intake and extracellular salt concentration, which preceded the upregulation of IL-17. There's a connection made for rats, but their metabolism is much faster, so they may need much more salt in their diet to see any effect on concentration. Kleinewietfeld et al say:

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 06, 2013
at 11:37 PM

Exactly, the only case where people on Paleo might eat lots of salt is only if they cook with tamari soy sauce all the time. If not, there's no risk with normal amounts of salt.

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7 Answers

5
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on March 06, 2013
at 11:15 PM

The phrase you need to focus on is "high salt conditions." If you are no longer eating processed foods, which contain large amounts of sodium, and are not eating a box of salt at every meal, you are not putting yourself into a high salt condition. Too little salt is as much of a concern as too much.

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on March 06, 2013
at 11:38 PM

"Additionally, excess salt content in diet should be investigated as a potential environmental risk factor for autoimmune diseases. However, this study would be difficult in Western cultures where the application of a true low-salt diet, representing the conditions in which Homo sapiens were environmentally selected in Africa, is difficult to achieve. " So it looks like they want to test the consumption of any little bit of salt, not just a pathological amount that only the saddest Americans might consume. That doesn't mean we must worry, but it still gives me pause.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 06, 2013
at 11:37 PM

Exactly, the only case where people on Paleo might eat lots of salt is only if they cook with tamari soy sauce all the time. If not, there's no risk with normal amounts of salt.

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on March 06, 2013
at 11:38 PM

I guess the question is what constitutes 'high salt'? There's no direct link (at least in the article) between salt intake and extracellular salt concentration, which preceded the upregulation of IL-17. There's a connection made for rats, but their metabolism is much faster, so they may need much more salt in their diet to see any effect on concentration. Kleinewietfeld et al say:

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on July 27, 2013
at 09:18 AM

or u can eat too much bacon and pork rinds like me lol. too much Na

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 06, 2013
at 11:24 PM

I think it's jumping the gun a bit. You don't have to dig very far into that news clip to get to one of the keywords in paleo: inflammation. Being an in vitro study as well... lots of things show up in vitro that do not crop up in vivo. Now, show me some epidemiological studies showing a correlation between sodium consumption and autoimmunity and you might have something there, controlling for other known pro-inflammatory dietary habits.

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on March 06, 2013
at 11:43 PM

They're arguing that those studies haven't been conducted, but should. The main uncertainty is whether/how much an increased salt concentration in vitro can be caused by a particular amount of consumption. This may be known, but not by me.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 07, 2013
at 03:33 PM

I'd actually wager they've been done, but I simply don't have the interest in digging through the Google-verse to find them.

0
E9d9a18b864c56f7b83f00bf0766f84e

on April 14, 2013
at 04:33 AM

Actually, celtic sea salt is very beneficial for the adrenal glands. My functional med rheumy actually asks me to eat a half tsp with every meal, and it helps tremendously. Refined salt in processed food is wrong for all the reasons we already know.

0
Baa413654789b57f3579474ca7fa43d7

(2349)

on March 07, 2013
at 02:23 PM

Just to add to some of the other comments above. More than 40% of sodium in the average SAD comes from the following 10 types of foods: (1) breads and rolls, (2) cold cuts and cured meats (3) pizza (4) fresh and processed poultry (5) soups (6) sandwiches (7) cheese (8) pasta dishes (9) meat-mixed dishes such as meat loaf with tomato sauce (10) snacks such as chips, pretzels, and popcorn.

(The reason poultry is #4 is that to maintain the flavor, manufacturers soak the chicken in salt water. Another reason to seek out local pastured chickens!)

In addition, 25% of SAD sodium comes from restaurant food, which is generally much higher in sodium than home cooked food.

http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/Sodium/index.html

A paleo diet of home cooked meals is already significantly lower in sodium. Unless you are coating your food with sea salt like a sanding truck in a snow storm, I doubt you would have to worry about salt sprinkled on food for some added flavor.

0
75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on March 07, 2013
at 12:47 PM

Like so many, I got caught up in the media frenzy about eating too much salt. Same goes for eating too much fat/cholesterol. But upon further research I realize these items in by themselves are not the devil. Processed foods, which contain way too much salt/fat/JUNK, are the real villains. And so by eating foods I prepare from scratch I feel comfortable in adding salt. Yet even so I can't imagine I consume more than 1/2 teaspoon per day. This includes eating a modest portion of sauerkraut daily.

_Lazza

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on March 07, 2013
at 04:31 PM

Right, this has been my general impression too, and maybe I'm just in a 'better safe than sorry' mood lately. Bubbie's sauerkraut is made with CaCl, which I eat that twice a day. Re: processed foods - at least it looks like the mainstream media is starting to catch on with our sentiment here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21682779

0
194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on March 07, 2013
at 03:30 AM

I have rheumatoid arthritis and I eat TONS of salt. Almost literally. I go through 3 teaspoons a day, easily, in my food. I love it. And I feel much better physically when I eat it to my heart's content.

Of course, it's important to hydrate extra well afterwards, but your thirst will certainly guide you in that.

Eat salt to satiety--It won't hurt you. It's important for many biological processes.

Eat unrefined sea salt with no additives.

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on March 07, 2013
at 04:36 PM

That's good to hear. Maybe indicates that not all autoimmune conditions are negatively affected by salt, some positively!

0
04a4f204bc2e589fa30fd31b92944549

(975)

on March 07, 2013
at 02:22 AM

Yikes, did not know that about salt. But I'm not really worried. I'm certain that compared to a SAD dieter, my sodium intake is super duper low! And I always use sea salt now, its supposed to be healthier.

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