Study shows: Too much salt weakens the immune defense

March 25, 2020

Studied the effects of salt on the immune system: (from left) Dr. Katarzyna Jobin, Natascha Ellen Stumpf, Melanie Eichler, Prof Dr. Christian Kurts, Olena Babyak and Mirjam Meissner. (c) Photo: Max Germer


Study by the University Hospital of Bonn shows: A diet rich in salt weakens the antibacterial immune defense

A high-salt diet is not only bad for one's blood pressure, but also for the immune system. This is the conclusion of a current study under the leadership of the University Hospital Bonn conducted by the Cluster member Prof. Christian Kurts.

Mice fed a high-salt diet were found to suffer from much more severe bacterial infections. Human volunteers who consumed an additional six grams of salt per day also showed pronounced immune deficiencies. This amount corresponds to the salt content of two fast food meals. The results are published in the journal "Science Translational Medicine". Five grams a day, no more: This is the maximum amount of salt that adults should consume according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). It corresponds approximately to one level teaspoon. In reality, however, many Germans exceed this limit considerably: Figures from the Robert Koch Institute suggest that on average men consume ten, women more than eight grams a day.

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Publication: Katarzyna Jobin, Natascha E. Stumpf, Sebastian Schwab, Melanie Eichler, Patrick Neubert, Manfred Rauh, Marek Adamowski, Olena Babyak, Daniel Hinze, Sugirthan Sivalingam, Christina K. Weisheit, Katharina Hochheiser, Susanne Schmidt, Mirjam Meissner, Natalio Garbi, Zeinab Abdullah, Ulrich Wenzel, Michael Hölzel, Jonathan Jantsch and Christian Kurts: A high-salt diet compromises antibacterial neutrophil responses through hormonal perturbation; Science Translational Medicine; DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aay3850