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Oct 30, 2021
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Does salt contribute to the development of cancer?

Does salt contribute to the development of cancer?

Recently, Japanese scientists published the results of a study in which almost 80 thousand people were observed. It turns out that excessive consumption of salty foods increases the risk of developing cancer by 15%, primarily tumors of the stomach, intestines and lungs.

I am sure that this conclusion is simply shocking to some. But the connection between salt, stomach cancer and some other diseases even made it to the official documents of the World Health Organization. Among other “salt” diseases there are osteoporosis, kidney stones, cataracts and diabetes mellitus.

But back to the worst thing. Scientists have figured out the mechanism of the effect of salt on the development of this disease. It is known that the development of oncology is facilitated by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which lives in the stomach. Among other things, it also causes ulcers and gastritis. So, those with this bacterium have a much higher risk of stomach cancer. And salt, by a tragic coincidence, helps this microorganism. Thanks to her, he becomes more active and reproduces better.

It used to be thought that salt increases pressure, which damages blood vessels. But recently, a study by Australian scientists was published proving that salt is harmful to blood vessels in itself. It makes their walls denser, and this is a powerful factor in the development of both hypertension and vascular sclerosis.

In 2008, it was accidentally discovered that in older women, excess salt intake leads to the loss of calcium, which means it contributes to the weakening of bone tissue, leading to osteoporosis. This disease is the scourge of modern civilization. Almost all hip fractures and spinal deformities in the elderly are associated with it.

How much salt do we need to make it tasty and not harmful to health? America and the European Union are now actively fighting to reduce salt consumption. In the West, it has been calculated that we consume 75-80% of salt as part of finished products, and add the rest during cooking and eating. It is unlikely that these proportions are significantly different in Russia. Unfortunately, our approach to the problem is fundamentally different. Food manufacturers in the West are gradually reducing their salt content, and have long and obligatory indicated its content. We, on the other hand, are not even talking about reduction, and there was only talk about the amount of salt indicated on the products.

Providing information on the salt in the product on the packaging, in the USA and Europe the emphasis is placed not on salt itself, but on sodium. After all, salt is the common name for sodium chloride. It is sodium that retains water in the body, increases the ability of blood vessels to spasm and does much more, contributing to an increase in pressure and the development of hypertension.

If the product packaging

the sodium content is indicated,

then, multiplying this figure by 2.5,

you will get the salt content.

For example, the label states that sodium is 0.4 grams

(or 400 mg).

0.4 g x 2.5 = 1 g salt

And this is a disease of disease: high blood pressure helps the development of atherosclerosis, heart ischemia, heart attacks, strokes, renal failure. And so that a person can keep track of not only the salt he has eaten, but also sodium in general (it is found in many foods and food additives), there is an indication of the daily intake of 2400 mg on each package. This is exactly how much sodium is contained in 6 grams of salt, filling exactly one teaspoon.

The daily human toll associated with excess salt intake is comparable to the disaster of a 400-seat jumbo jet. And such “planes” fall every day and from year to year.

Sergey Pivovarov

Photo: Adobe stock

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