Salt may have natural healing effects.
In the last decade, salt has gained a bad rep in the nutritionally-minded community, where it tends to be seen as a detrimental factor of any diet that can cause all sorts of health problems. A recent study shows that salt can have positive attributes that involve more than just making food taste better.
Author of the study, Jonathan Jantsch, states, “Up to now, salt has been regarded as a detrimental dietary factor…Our current study challenges this one-sided view and suggests that increasing salt accumulation at the site of infections might be an ancient strategy to ward off infections, long before antibiotics were invented.” He went on to say that further understanding of the “regulatory cascades” could help design drugs that enable strategically placed salt deposits in the body to ward of infection.
The discovery was stumbled upon within mice. Mice that were fed a diet containing high salt levels showed increased immunity when exposed to microbial infections. The immunity boost was caused by elevated activity of macrophage immune cells. Researchers at Vanderbilt University had already discovered that sodium builds up naturally in the skin of both humans and mice to ward of infection, so Jantsch’s study took things one step further by proving that you could aid your body’s natural salty defense with moderate salt consumption.
Despite the positive results in this study, scientists of course do not recommend that you start piling the salt onto your food. Natural salt may have its benefits, but increasing salt intake dramatically and in a short amount of time can prove extremely harmful.