High salt intake linked to diabetes risk: Study

Besides high blood pressure, high intake of salt, which is the main source of sodium, may be associated with the increased risk of developing diabetes. According to the researchers from the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM), Karolinska Institute in Sweden, for each 2.5 extra grams of salt (equivalent to each extra gram of sodium), consumed per day, there was an average 43 percent increase in the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.

The findings revealed that people who consumed more than 7.3 grams of salt per day showed a 72 percent increased risk as compared to those with lowest below six grams. According to the researchers, the association of sodium that makes up at least 40 percent of salt may be because of direct effect on insulin resistance, and/or by promoting obesity and high blood pressure.

Furthermore, higher sodium intake in the form of salt was also linked with a high risk of developing Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA). LADA is a form of Type-1 diabetes in which insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are deteriorated by the body’s own immune system. The study further showed that the effect of sodium intake on the risk of developing LADA was even greater, with a 73 percent increase for each gram of salt consumed daily.

“We confirm an association between sodium intake and type 2 diabetes (and that) high sodium intake may be a risk factor for LADA, especially in carriers of high risk HLA genotypes,” said lead author Bahareh Rasouli from IMM, while presenting the paper at annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) 2017 in Lisbon.

Patients with high risk leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotypes whose sodium intake was termed as ‘high’ that is over 3.15 gram per day were almost four times more likely to develop LADA than those consuming the lowest, which was less than 2.4 gram per day.