Several studies conducted earlier have validated the link between high salt consumption and high blood pressure, but a new research carried out 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 has shown that too much salt could increase the risk of diabetes.
The study which focused on the latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) considered the impact of sodium intake on the risk of type 2 diabetes and LADA. The Researchers suggested that sodium – which we commonly ingest through salt, or sodium chloride – could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes in adults.
Available statistics revealed that there is global prevalence of diabetes with varying degree of prevalence from developed to developing countries. While it affects more than 29 million people in the United States, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nigeria has about 5 million of its population living with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for up to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases and is characterized by abnormal levels of blood sugar.
According to the study, reported on Medical News Today, the team looked at data from 355 people diagnosed with LADA and 1,136 individuals with type 2 diabetes, comparing the results of this analysis with the findings from a healthy group of 1,379 individuals (the controls).
With the use of questionnaires as a data collecting instrument, which allowed the team to calculate the daily caloric, nutrient, and sodium intake for each participant, the team also considered genetic risk factors for diabetes, and the participants were split into “high risk” and “other” categories depending on their genetic profile.
The researchers found 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.
With 40,815 deaths recorded in Nigerian adults due to diabetes annually, it is wise if Nigerians can minimise their salt intake for better health outcomes.