Diet high in salt increases risk of dementia
A new study shows that salt leads to changes in the immune system in the gut, and this reduces the flow of blood to the brain.
The study, which is based on experiments on mice, suggests that salty foods harm the nerve cells in the brain and lead to problems in behaviour and mental health.
This can be reversed by returning to a normal diet, which is good news because it shows that a change in lifestyle can help to protect against dementia.
The study found that mice fed a high-salt diet had difficulty is identifying new objects in recognition tests. But the effects of the salty diet were reversed after the mice were returned to a normal diet.
After four weeks brain scans showed that the blood flow and nerve cells function were healthy again. This means that a high-salt diet may damage brain health in humans apart from damaging the heart.
There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, which causes nerve-cell death and tissue loss throughout the brain leading to dementia.