Friday August 17, 2018

Salt Not as Damaging to Health as Previously Thought, Says Study

Most previous studies on sodium intake had shown that heart disease and stroke were based on individual-level information

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Moderate salt intake not as bad as earlier thought: Study. Pixabay
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People with moderate or average salt intake need not reduce their sodium intake for prevention of heart disease and stroke, suggests a new study involving 94,000 people from different parts of the world, including India.

For a vast majority of individuals, sodium consumption does not increase heart risks, except for those who eat more than five grams a day, the equivalent of 2.5 teaspoons of salt, showed the findings published in the journal The Lancet.

Even those who consume a little more than five grams of salt a day, need not worry a lot as the study said that any health risk of sodium intake is virtually eliminated if people improve their diet quality by adding fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, potatoes, and other potassium rich foods.

“The World Health Organization recommends consumption of less than two grams of sodium — that’s one teaspoon of salt — a day as a preventative measure against cardiovascular disease, but there is little evidence in terms of improved health outcomes that individuals ever achieve at such a low level,” said first author of the study Andrew Mente from Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

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Very low salt intake may be as bad as high levels, international study claims. Pixabay

The researchers followed 94,000 people, aged 35 to 70, for an average of eight years in communities from 18 countries around the world and found there was an associated risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes only where the average intake was greater than five grams of sodium a day.

China is the only country in the study where 80 per cent of communities have a sodium intake of more than five grams a day.

Also Read: Salty Diet Reduces Thirst, Increases Hunger

In the other countries, the majority of the communities had an average sodium consumption of 3 to 5 grams a day (equivalent to 1.5 to 2.5 teaspoons of salt).

Most previous studies on sodium intake had shown that heart disease and stroke were based on individual-level information, said study co-author Martin O’Donnell, Associate Professor at McMaster. (IANS)

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Marital Spats May Deteriorate Your Health

Significant link between hostility and the biomarker LBP, which indicates the presence of bacteria in the blood. And there was a strong link between that biomarker and evidence of inflammation.

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How marital spats can affect your health. Pixabay

Couples, please take note. Fighting with your spouse may deteriorate your health, a new study has found.

The findings suggest that married people who fight are more likely to suffer from leaky guts — a problem that unleashes bacteria into the blood and can drive up disease-causing inflammation.

“We think that this everyday marital distress — at least for some people — is causing changes in the gut that lead to inflammation and, potentially, illness,” said lead author Janice Kiecolt-Glaser from the Ohio State University.

For the study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, the team recruited around 50 healthy married couples, surveyed them about their relationships and then encouraged them to discuss and try to resolve a conflict likely to provoke strong disagreement.

The researchers left the couples alone for these discussions, videotaped the 20-minute interactions and later watched how they fought.

Couples have tough time understanding soft negative emotions like sadness, loneliness of each other: Study.
Couples have tough time understanding soft negative emotions .

They categorised their verbal and non-verbal fighting behaviours, with special interest in hostility — things such as dramatic eye rolls or criticism of one’s partner.

The researchers also compared blood drawn pre-fight to blood drawn post-fight.

Men and women who demonstrated more hostile behaviours during the observed discussions had higher levels of one biomarker for leaky gut — LPS-binding protein — than their mellower peers, the researchers said.

Evidence of leaky gut was even greater in study participants who had particularly hostile interactions with their spouses and a history of depression or another mood disorder, they added.

Also Read: Reduce Loneliness and Boost Your Mental Health With Cycling

The study found a strong, significant link between hostility and the biomarker LBP, which indicates the presence of bacteria in the blood. And there was a strong link between that biomarker and evidence of inflammation.

Lifestyle changes that could contribute to decreased risk of gut-related inflammation include diets high in lean proteins, healthful fats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Probiotics might also be useful, Kiecolt-Glaser noted. (IANS)

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