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Thanks to Japanese researchers, we have further evidence indicating how salt intake influences our health status. Diabetics must refrain from adding more salt to their food, because the substance could increase the risk of heart related problems. The news comes after just a couple of months ago, researchers found a link between animal proteins and type 2 diabetes. Cardiovascular problems for diabetics could be exacerbated by a poor blood sugar control.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when patients start to develop resistance to the insulin hormone and the natural hormone cannot fulfill its sugar regulating role anymore. Diabetes is quite common among the general population, with more than 29 million Americans suffering from one form of the disease. More than 89 million Americans have high blood sugar levels, which might lead to development of diabetes, according to Live Science. The death rate among diabetics is 1.7 times higher than for non-diabetics.
Researchers from University of Niigata, Japan, published the results of a study on how salt influences diabetes on July 22 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Chika Horikawa and her colleagues performed a study with 1600 respondents aged 40 to 70. The subjects responded to a national survey about their diets. The study was based on self-reported data, so the results should be taken with a grain of salt.
Poor blood level control might exacerbate cardiovascular problems for diabetics
The lowest average of daily sodium intake was 2.800 milligrams per day, which is higher than medically recommended. The U.S. nutritional guidelines suggest a daily intake of no more than 1.500 milligrams of sodium for diabetics and 2.300 milligrams for non-diabetics. Americans consume an average of 3300 milligrams per day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informs, according to Live Science.
After comparing the sodium intake and the respondents’ medical records from the last 8 years, the Japanese researchers found no links between salt intake and kidney diseases, eye problems and death among diabetics. But they noticed how respondents consuming an average of 5.9 milligrams of salt per day doubled their risks of developing a heart disease, compared with others who had salt intake of just 2.9 milligrams. Moreover, the diabetics who did not properly control their blood sugar levels faced even greater risks of developing a cardiovascular disease.
We should note that the study found links between sodium intake and development of cardiovascular disease. Further investigation must clear if indeed salt is a direct contributor to health problems. Nevertheless, keep in mind that doctors advise us to closely control the sodium intake and keep it to a minimum, if no other medical condition interferes. A study on the role of sodium intake and cardiovascular problems for diabetics in the U.S. is highly needed, as Americans are avid sodium consumers.