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Carol Eustice

High Salt Diet May Trigger Autoimmune Diseases

By March 7, 2013

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Study results published in the March 6, 2013 issue of Nature suggest that a high intake of salt can overstimulate the immune system. Specifically, salt can induce immune cells that trigger autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis. Researchers have long thought that autoimmune diseases are caused by more than just genetic factors. Environmental factors, including lifestyle habits and dietary factors, were likely suspects.

Experiments have shown that increased salt can lead to the induction of pathogenic (disease-causing) Th17 cells. Th17 cells, or interleukin-17 producing helper T cells, are highly proinflammatory, critical for clearing pathogens, but apparently for inducing autoimmune diseases under certain conditions, too.

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Comments
March 13, 2013 at 11:41 am
(1) shazia essa says:

I definitely agree with the salt triggers auto immune diseases! I am a RA patient and when I have a high salt intake I have a huge flare up! Red meat and processed meat as well as anything high in acid triggers it too!

February 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm
(2) LJP says:

I agree. I have lupus and when I eat a high salt diet, I always get ulcers on my arms and legs at my joints. I eat a very low salt diet now.

March 6, 2014 at 10:31 am
(3) Sharon says:

I get severe joint pain and knee effusions when I eat canned tomato sauce. I had to get my knee drained the first time. I don’t have a diagnosed autoimmune disorder but have had long standing joint issues and have learned to stay away from the triggers!

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