Too much salt could increase diabetes risk

Researchers suggest that sodium, which we get through salt, could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes in adults.

The type of diabetes is most often diagnosed in middle-aged and senior people is Type 2 diabetes, and accounts for up to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases and is characterized by abnormal levels of blood sugar. Another metabolic condition called Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA) is often misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes; it also appears later in adulthood, but is a more slowly progressing disease, and it does not initially require insulin treatment.

Already know is that the sodium we usually absorb from our daily intake of salt may significantly increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but until now, no studies had looked at the impact of sodium intake on the risk of LADA.

A new study conducted by Dr. Bahareh Rasouli, of the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden – in collaboration with researchers from other Swedish and Finnish institutions – now looks at the impact of sodium intake on the risk of type 2 diabetes and LADA. What they found was that each extra gram of sodium (or 2.5 grams of salt) per day was linked to a 43 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes. For LADA, each extra gram of sodium led to a 73 percent increase in developing the condition.

Of course, genetics played a huge role in this, as does other lifestyle choices, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, etc.

A Japanese study also found that people with diabetes who consumed an average of 5.9 grams of salt daily had double the risk of developing heart disease than those who consumed, on average, 2.8 grams of salt daily. In addition, heart disease risk jumped nearly 10-fold for people with poorly managed type 2 diabetes and a diet with excess salt.

People with diabetes should consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. People without diabetes should limit their sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams, the CDC says. In the current study, the lowest average was 2.8 grams a day, which equals 2,800 milligrams.

So, put that salt shaker down and try tasting your food instead! You’ll live longer.