WXTK Better Health Report: Sodium and Dementia

A new study from Weill Cornell in New York City ran an experiment that exposed rats to diets with varying levels of sodium

And they found that the rats on a high sodium diet developed dementia because the sodium reduced blood flow to the brain, particularly the areas of the brain that control learning and memory.

Previously it’s been thought that high blood pressure from too much sodium in the diet was the cause of vascular dementia, but this study showed cognitive decline even with normal blood pressure. Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s.

Now they actually traced the problem to the gut, where high sodium consumption stimulated an immune response that reduced nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps blood vessels to relax which increases blood flow.

The scary thing is that the high level sodium diet given to the rats was comparable to a high sodium American diet.

It’s recommended that American adults should not exceed 2300mg/day of sodium, yet over 90% of Americans go beyond this.

In my class at 4Cs, I often have students say “Well I don’t have high blood pressure and I eat a lot salt”. Studies with salt never turn out well.

This is Joan Trimble wishing you wellness.


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