Consuming excessive amounts of salt has been found to significantly increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study reveals. Researchers from Tulane University in the US recommend reducing salt intake or using low-sodium alternatives to prevent the onset of the disease.
While several risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as age, obesity, physical inactivity, prediabetes, and family history, are widely known, this study highlights the importance of also minimizing salt consumption. The research suggests that taking proactive measures to reduce salt intake can lower the risk of developing the disease.
The study analyzed data from the UK Biobank, including information from 402,982 participants without a history of diabetes, chronic kidney disease, cancer, or cardiovascular disease. Participants provided details about their salt consumption habits. Over an average follow-up period of nearly 12 years, 13,120 individuals were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Findings revealed that participants who frequently added salt to their food had a 39% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who rarely or never used salt. The risk increased by 20% for individuals who usually added salt and by 13% for those who sometimes added salt.
Although the exact reasons behind the connection between salt intake and type 2 diabetes risk require further investigation, the researchers believe that salt may contribute to the development of risk factors like obesity and inflammation by encouraging larger portion sizes. The study also uncovered an association between regular salt consumption and higher body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio.
The researchers plan to conduct a clinical trial to control participants’ salt intake and observe the resulting effects. In the meantime, they encourage individuals to reduce their salt consumption or use low-sodium alternatives to season their food.
Lead author of the study, Lu Qi, emphasizes that making such dietary adjustments is not challenging but can significantly impact one’s health. By heeding this advice, individuals can take proactive steps in lowering their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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