Too much salt could mean to too little calcium, say researchers

High dietary intake of sodium could lead to depletion of calcium in the body, according to new research..

The study – published in the American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology – reveals that sodium and calcium extraction are regulated by the same cellular systems, meaning that when the body tries to excrete excess sodium from a high-salt-diet it also flushes calcium out.

"We asked a simple question with our research – could sodium and calcium absorption be linked?" explains Dr Todd Alexander, from the University of Alberta, Canada, who led the research. "And we discovered that they are." He says the findings provide ‘very real’ biological evidence that a relationship between sodium and calcium balance “is real and linked."

"When the body tries to get rid of sodium via the urine, our findings suggest the body also gets rid of calcium at the same time," he says. “This is significant because we are eating more and more sodium in our diets, which means our bodies are getting rid of more and more calcium. Our findings reinforce why it is important to have a low-sodium diet and why it is important to have lower sodium levels in processed foods."

The researchers warn that as calcium is excreted in urine it raises the risk of developing kidney stones while inadequate levels of calcium in the body can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis.

 

 Authors: Wanling Pan, Jelena Borovac, Zachary Spicer, Joost G. Hoenderop, René J. Bindels, et al

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