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Too much salt creates an auto-immune type effect in the brain

Discussion in 'Other health news and research' started by Since2010, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. Since2010

    Since2010 Established Member

    A story on Australian radio Tuesday morning local time covered a paper in the journal Nature (the audio won't play outside Australia, so for those overseas I'll try to find the study link and post below). According to the researcher interviewed in the radio piece, too much salt changes the gut composition and creates "an almost auto-immune effect in the brain".

    I find this fascinating. I certainly retain more water & salt when I'm PEMmed. I'm just one big bloat!

    My ME doctor routinely orders a 24 hr sodium-potassium excretion test, and has found that many PWME retain too much salt.

    Professor Ron Davis is mimicking PEM by stressing the cells of PWME with salt, so he can see whether/how the stressed cells respond to every drug currently approved by the FDA.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
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  2. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I'd be interested in what constitutes "too much salt". Note that salt levels are used in the UK and sodium levels are used in the USA when doctors give advice. I don't know what is used elsewhere.

    In the UK the NHS guidelines are outlined here :


    I think that salt guidelines are probably too low for good health, but I don't have research links to back that up.

    Dr Malcolm Kendrick often pours scorn on instructions to all and sundry to limit salt. I like the way he thinks so I tend to find his arguments convincing - which I realise is not a good reason for believing what he says :

    Squeezy, dannybex, pteropus and 4 others like this.
  3. Perrier

    Perrier Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    and some doctors have suggested lots of salt in order to keep the BP up in ME
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  4. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    So by extension people without ME/CFS who eat lots of salt are almost auto immuning their brain?
  5. MeSci

    MeSci Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Cornwall, UK
    Many PWME lose too much salt. I am one of these. I have ended up in hospital with hypoglycemia more than once. I make sure to take salt regularly now, including when I am confused, as this can be a sign. It takes a while to realise.

    I don't think that Prof Davis is creating normal conditions by stressing cells with salt. I can't find the reference right now.
  6. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    So...do I need to increase my salt intake (a 750g pack lasts me around 2 years - so just over 1 gram a day of added salt) or decrease it? Do I really want my brain auto-immuned (rather than manually immuned)? And has this effect been observed in people, outside of Australia i.e. is it some localised thing, like the reverse spiny plughole thing?

    I have over the years taken a fair amount of care to reduce my salt intake, due having high blood pressure (hasn't, as far as I can tell, made a blind bit of difference), but do have the odd bad "day", mainly caused by being incapable and eating processed foods, which can contain fairly incredible salt levels, but after eating these I do tend to feel bad a few hours later, but this may be for reason of religion ;)
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
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  7. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

  8. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

    I eat loads of salt, does me the world of good.
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  9. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    "Too much" for one person is not enough for another. This is no 'one-size fits all' illness.
    Squeezy, TigerLilea and MeSci like this.
  10. Trails

    Trails Established Member (Voting Rights)

    rural New Hampshire
    I eat loads of salt, also. Have no idea whether it's doing me good or doing me bad. What I do know is that I have preferred salt to sweets my whole life. To say that I often crave salt is not an overstatement.
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