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Ah, the all-popular and basic ingredient of cooking, salt. While you need a good amount of salt to give your body the sodium and other minerals it needs, excess of this ingredient can be quite harmful too. And while the known harmful effects are already known, there are a lot of people who still don’t know if it can damage your brain. Well, that’s what we’re here for. Read on, to find out Can Too Much Salt Damage Your Brain?
Quite simply, yes. Too much salt can damage your brain as it has been proven in a few studies. One particular study gave some mic a diet that’s extremely high in salt (about 6 or 8 times the normal value). Over 12 weeks, they observed for any changes and noticed a lot of signs of mental deterioration in the mice. They couldn’t get out of mazes, were unable to build nests, could not familiarize objects and so on.
“We translate that in humans to activities of daily living, and that’s what we would call severe cognitive impairment or dementia,”, says the lead researcher of the study, Constantino Ladecola.
What does it mean for you?
What makes this dangerous for you is that even though the amount of salt given to the mice was an abnormal amount, it’s quite likely that you have been consuming the same amount too. A lot of processed foods and junk food don’t exactly declare the amount of salt that they have.
Furthermore, at a certain point, it’s possible for you to be suffering from the effects at a same intensity than even ones that have a more extreme salt diet than you do. Ladecola confirms this as it didn’t matter if the mice had 6x more salt in their diet or 8x, they suffered from the effects at the same intensity.
The science behind the claim
While there are lots of different ways that salt damages your mental faculties, the one condition that makes the top is hypernatremia. In this condition, excess of sodium from the salt starts disrupting natural electrical impulses of your nerves. These electrical impulses are how your nerves communicate with your brain and vice versa. When disturbed, you’ll feel symptoms such as mood swings, irritation and restlessness.
If that wasn’t enough, getting rid of salt isn’t an easy task. Once you’re hooked, it will take a lot of effort to beat the addiction and a lot of healthy food to reverse the damage. Fortunately, both of these have been done by other people in the past, making it possible to do and also strengthening the notion that an excess of salt does not pose any long-term damage.
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