High sodium intake has been proven to be a silent killer and can cause devastating effects to the heart. Not just the heart, but high salt intake can affect other organs of the body like the kidneys, brain, and arteries, leading to high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. Research conducted at Harvard University stated that there is evidence that sodium or too much salt can be very harmful to bones too.
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Studies conducted at Indiana School of Medicine, which was backed up by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s reports (CDC), stated that one-third of Americans had developed high blood pressure, which increases the risk of developing stroke and heart diseases.
Let’s find out more on the damaging effects of salts to some organs in the body.
In most developed countries and the United States, salt has been railed to be the major cause of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Salt can damage the arteries connecting the heart, causing the heart cells not to function due to a lack of oxygen and nutrients. However, continuous salt intake over time will result in increased blood pressure causing the arteries to clog or burst. Some part of the affected heart fails to receive the necessary oxygen and nutrients it needs and dies. This is a typical example of a heart attack as a result of the high consumption of salt.
The kidney functions through osmosis and helps to get rid of extra fluid or water from the blood. The ionic balance between sodium and potassium helps draw excess water from the bloodstream across the cell walls.
An increase in sodium due to too much salt consumption affects the ionic balance in the kidney. Hence, this prevents the kidney from drawing out excess water from the blood. The blood pressure is increased due to fluid strain, thus causing chronic kidney diseases, leaving you at high risk of other serious kidney problems and cardiovascular diseases.
Certain ranges of treatments are available for chronic kidney diseases like controlling high blood pressure, a good and healthy diet with plenty of vegetables/fruits, and avoiding processed foods or sugar-rich foods.
As you have learned earlier, a high intake of salt can damage the arteries, not just the arteries leading to the heart, but also those leading to the brain.
A damaged artery leading to the brain causes blood reduction to the brain, causing brain cells to lack oxygen and necessary nutrients. This causes the brain cells to die, leading to brain disorders such as dementia and stroke.
Certain best brain foods will increase blood flow and enhance the formation of new brain cells.
To help reduce blood pressure in the body, you should limit yourself to no more than 2,300mg of sodium per day, and that will improve your health.