More research is showing the potential link between high salt consumption and cognitive impairment.
By Dawn Flemming
Salt is important for proper bodily function but it can also lead to health issues. However, too much salt can lead to a variety of problems including cognitive impairment and brain damage. According to the Journal of Nature Neuroscience, experts have found that a diet consisting of high sodium can negatively affect blood flow to the brain thereby bringing about memory problems.
The link seems to be between the gut and the brain. Eating too much salt leads to an inflammation of the colon and thereby results in reduced blood flow to the brain. The reduction of blood flow in the brain reduces the amount of oxygen in the brain and thus damages the brain. This in turn may damage cognitive function, including the processing of memory which is characteristic of Alzheimer's.
The test was done on laboratory mice. What was surprising about the study was that once the salt intake was reduced, the blood flow resumed to the brain at normal levels. The study therefore highlighted the potential dangers of long term high salt consumption and cognitive impairment.
The current research adds more data on the link between our cardiovascular system and dementia. Consult your doctor on what an appropriate diet may be for you.
Dawn Flemming is Director of Business Services at Geriatric In-Home Care in Fresno, California.