We’re all aware that it’s unhealthy to eat foods high in salt, but do we know exactly why? Up until now, researchers have had a hard time proving exactly why individuals with higher sodium intake end up developing diseases like osteoporosis and health problems like kidney stones.
Researcher Todd Alexander and his team of experts have just discovered a critical link between sodium and calcium after completing a study using animal lab models and cells as test cases.
Their findings, which were recently published in the American Journal of Physiology, show that both calcium and sodium appear to be regulated by the same molecule in the body.
Alexander explains, ”When the body tries to get rid of sodium via the urine, our findings suggest the body also gets rid of calcium at the same time. This is significant because we are eating more and more sodium in our diets, which means our bodies are getting rid of more and more calcium. Our findings reinforce why it is important to have a low-sodium diet and why it is important to have lower sodium levels in processed foods.”
Simply put, eating a lot of salt will cannibalize the calcium in your body, ultimately increasing the risk of osteoporosis. When you eat the salt, it also pulls the calcium out of your body with it, via the urine. High levels of calcium in the urine can lead to the development of kidney stones.
In essence, eating a lot of salt will decrease the amount of calcium in your body (a huge factor in the development of osteoporosis) and increase the level of calcium in your urine (a huge factor in the development of kidney stones). A lose/lose situation all around.
Up until now, it was known that high sodium diets were unhealthy but there was never a proven link between calcium and sodium.