Excess consumption of salt in combination with a high-sugar diet can impair people’s immunity and lead to the development of multiple sclerosis or inflammatory bowel disease. That said Jan Krejsek, head of the department of Clinical Immunology and Allergology at the University Hospital Hradec Králové, today at a press conference.
According to Krejsko, the Czech population’s diet is especially energy-rich, as it contains a high sugar content and fats at the same time. Add to that the excessive salt consumption, which, according to Krejsk, is an extremely unhealthy combination. Most of the salt is in bread, industrially processed food, but also in meat products, as salt acts as a preservative. Over-salted foods are also eaten by children, who pass on such bad habits into adulthood.
Excessive intake of sugar in the diet contributes to overweight and obesity, while obesity Krejsek speaks of harmful inflammation. This is also a problem for children; According to earlier data from the Ministry of Health, more than a fifth of children in the Czech Republic aged 11 to 15 are overweight or obese.
High salt consumption has a bad effect on blood pressure, kidney function and the immune system. “Salt in food disrupts the gut’s natural microbiota, which is essential for the maintenance of proper immune system performance as a whole,” said Krejsek. He added that salt indirectly increases the permeability of the intestinal mucosa and releases pro-inflammatory effects. “Salt affects components of innate immunity such as macrophages and dendritic cells. Their ability to protect us is impaired. Excess salt consumption can also lead to diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease,” added Krejsek.
According to a study referenced by the State Institute of Public Health, excess salt can also decrease resistance to bacterial infections. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises adults to take five to six grams of salt per day. Czechs exceed this recommendation up to three times.