Is Salt Good For The Body? Study Shows It Triggers Allergies

Salt is a common ingredient added to the daily diet of most people. But despite being essential to the human health, it was recently found to increase the risk of developing allergies. 

A new study shows that sodium chloride, mostly known as table salt, triggers the formation of certain cells that contribute to allergic conditions such as atopic dermatitis, EurekAlert reported on Wednesday. The team found that salt leads to the increase of Th2 cells in the body and even causes some cells that should not cause allergies to turn into allergy-linked cells. 

For the study, the researchers focused on the effects of salt intake by atopic dermatitis patients. The findings reveal that affected skin regions of the patients had elevated salt presence. The sodium levels in the patients' affected skin reached 30 times higher than that in healthy skin.

“The higher sodium levels in the affected skin neatly match another characteristic of atopic dermatitis,” said Christina Zielinski, a professor at the Technical University of Munich and one of the researchers. She explained that salt mainly contributed to the elevated levels of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus on the skin of atopic dermatitis patients. The bacteria are known to thrive under salty conditions.

However, Zielinski noted that her team has yet to determine how salt directly causes allergies. “We have not yet been able to show how these large quantities of salt find their way to the skin,” she said. “For that reason, we are also unsure of how a low-salt or high-salt diet might be related to the appearance and progression of atopic dermatitis or other allergic conditions.” 

The researchers aim to conduct interdisciplinary studies to support their findings. 

Other Bad Effects of Table Salt

Doctors commonly advise patients with high blood pressure to avoid salt. Table salt has been found to cause rapid increase of blood pressure. Excessive salt also affects diabetes, gout and obesity, according to Global Healing Center

Most packaged and processed food contains high amounts of salt due to preservatives. Experts warn that too much consumption of such food because of sodium could cause kidney, thyroid and liver problems; goiter; hypertension; heart disease; and even anxiety and depression.