Too Much Salt Can Cause Liver Damage
A high-salt diet could contribute to liver damage in adults, according to a new animal study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Too much sodium could also cause liver dysfunction in developing embryos, researchers reported.
While the human body needs salt to function properly, most Americans eat too much of it, which contributes to conditions like high blood pressure.
Salt and cell death
In the study, researchers gave adult mice a high-salt diet and also exposed chick embryos to a salt-filled environment. The excessive sodium was linked to changes in liver function - researchers witnessed oddly shaped cells and higher rates of cell death.
"On a positive note, the researchers did find that treating damaged cells with vitamin C appeared to partially counter the ill effects of excess salt," a press release on the study stated.
Current U.S. nutritional guidelines recommend healthy adults consume one teaspoon of salt per day. Many processed foods contain excessive sodium, however, which can make it challenging to limit salt intake.