Salt could’ve been misunderstood all time.
You know you’re not supposed to overdo it because consuming too much sodium raises blood pressure and increase the risk of heart diseases or strokes. But two researches from The Journal of Clinical Investigation suggest experts have misunderstood salt’s effects on the human body and overlooked a potential benefit: burning body fat, reported KBC TV.
The researchers gave 10 male Russian astronauts – on two separate space missions – progressively saltier meals, the saltiest ones caused the men to produce the most urine even though they didn’t drink more. It’s no secret that that salt makes you thirsty.
In a similar experiment with mice, researchers found that when the animals ate the saltiest diets, their bodies released more of a hormone called glucocorticoid, which is known to affect the metabolism and immune system. According to them, glucocorticoid caused the mice to break down fat and muscle to derive water from these tissues, and to flush out excess sodium, which explains the increase in urine output.
Because this process requires energy, eating more salt also stoked the astronauts’ appetites. Of course, increased food intake can ultimately lead to weight gain so one can’t say salt is the key to weight loss. This newfound fat-burning power doesn’t nullify decades of warnings regarding excess sodium. Overdo it, and your body could produce too much glucocorticoid, which is linked to osteoporosis, muscle loss, Type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic problems.
So while you shouldn’t go to town with your salt shaker (consuming no more than 2,300 mg, or 1 teaspoon of salt per day, and more research, is needed to nail exactly how salt effects the body) — this news can at least make you feel a little less guilty the next time you indulge in a plate of French fries.
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