What is dementia?
Your dietary choices can pave the way to various serious health problems, including dementia.
Worryingly, new research, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, has warned that a common ingredient found in every kitchen could spell bad news for your risk.
The research team linked eating too much salt to cognitive impairment.
The common seasoning is also considered “the single biggest cause” of high blood pressure, according to Blood Pressure UK.
Over time, untreated hypertension can damage your blood vessels, including the ones in your brain.
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This process can interrupt the flow of blood to your brain, potentially leading to dementia.
Hisayoshi Kubota, the study author, said: “Excessive salt intake is considered a risk factor for hypertension, cognitive dysfunction, and dementia.
“However, studies focusing on the interaction between the peripheral and central nervous system have not sufficiently investigated this association.”
What did the research find?
The research team looked at mice models loaded with sodium and water solution.
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Examining two key areas of the animals’ brains, the researchers noticed several biochemical alternations.
They discovered that the mice who had the solution showed the addition of phosphates to tau proteins, which are key proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease.
Furthermore, changes in the levels of a protein PSD95 that plays a vital role in the organisation and function of brain synapses were also evident.
Interestingly, these biochemical changes were reversed after the administration of the antihypertensive drug losartan.
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How much salt is safe?
According to the NHS, adults should have no more than six grams of the popular seasoning a day, which is the equivalent of around one level teaspoon.
This includes the salt that’s added to the food you buy from a grocery store, and the salt you use during and after cooking.
To take control of your salt intake back, Blood Pressure UK recommends looking at food labels and avoiding foods with high salt content, which is 1.5 grams or more per 100 grams of the food.
Fortunately, cutting back on the common seasoning is one of the simplest ways to lower your blood pressure reading.
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