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Salt Supplementation Might Help Fight Microbial Attacks In Skin

March 7, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A German study in mice has found that a high-salt diet, normally considered risky for heart health, protects tissues from microbial infections. A diet rich in sodium has been proven time and again to be detrimental for cardiovascular diseases. Recent studies have shown that it also worsens autoimmune diseases. But the researchers became intrigued when they noticed a high concentration of salt in the infected skin of mice bitten by cage mates. They also noted that human patients with bacterial skin infections showed remarkably high salt accumulation at the lesion sites. While not recommending a salty diet, the researchers nevertheless said salt supplementation might provide a therapeutic option when there is too little of it at infection sites.
Jonathan Jantsch et al., "Cutaneous Na Storage Strengthens the Antimicrobial Barrier Function of the Skin and Boosts Macrophage-Driven Host Defense. ", Cell Metabolism, March 07, 2015, © Elsevier Inc.
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