Why Does Eating Too Much Salt Make Us More Susceptible to Covid-19?
Well we already know all too well, according to research, that eating a diet too high in sodium can lead to heart and blood pressure problems. But now a new study has revealed it can also have a negative effect on our immune systems. That means we may be more susceptible to getting sick due to illnesses caused by bacteria and viruses.
And yes, that includes Covid-19. But how exactly?
The study leading to these insights was was done in 2015. But recently it was published in a medical journal called Circulation. Sadly, the higher the amount of sodium we have in our blood has an effect on how our white blood cells are able to prepare to defend our bodies when unhealthy cells are discovered.
Eathis.com reports insights from Dr. Sabrina Geisberger of the Berlin Insitute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB):
In this study, "Geisberger's team examined 'the metabolism of immune cells that had been exposed to high salt concentrations. [The salt] disrupts the respiratory chain, causing the cells to produce less ATP and consume less oxygen,' Geisberger explained."
As you may be aware, ATP is the fuel our cells use for their power. So, having too much sodium in our bodies can diminish their power. Long story short, our bodies' ability to defend against these intruders is compromised.
OK, so how much can we enjoy without diminishing our own ability to ward off illness, such as Covid-19?
This same study seems to indicate that adults should be consuming no more than 5 or 6 grams of salt per day. Seems simple enough, right? OK, but perhaps the most dangerous culprits are the hidden salts so often found in our processed foods. Many people totally forget to account for that--unless they're really paying attention.
It always seems to come back to doing our best to eat foods in as natural of a state as possible. A sprinkle of salt here and there is probably fine. But it may be a good idea to add pizazz to your food using more spices like garlic and onion.
And also, a couple of spoonfuls of low-sodium salsa makes almost anything savory taste more delicious.