The perils of eating too much salt extend far beyond high blood pressure. That was the conclusion of a new, systematic review undertaken to assess the impact of diets high in sodium on key areas of bodily function. According to research noted in the study, excess salt (sodium) essentially functions as a toxin in several vital organ systems. The most notable risks from too much salt in the diet included the following:
- Endothelial cell dysfunction: Endothelial cells are the all-important cells that line our arteries, which govern blood flow. Endothelial cell dysfunction is a primary driver of heart disease.
- Thickening of the muscle of the heart: Also known as left ventricular hypertrophy, this condition can predispose us to heart failure.
- Reduced kidney function
- Over-activation of the sympathetic nervous system: This is the body’s “fight or flight” part of the nervous system and excessive sympathetic activity can have far-reaching adverse effects throughout the body.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2015; 65 (10)
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