Study: High salt intake could increase dementia & Alzheimer’s disease risk

31 May 2023

A new study about high salt intake has been published, after the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as different non-governmental health-related organizations have warned against high salt consumption – especially of table salt.

It is reported that high salt-induced hypertension can also be correlated with emotional and cognitive impairment.

The WHO recommends limiting salt intake to less than 5 g per day. The reason for this is the effects of salt on the cardiovascular system, obesity and non-communicable diseases.

However, researchers in Japan have now concluded that high salt intake can also lead to an increase in a key biomarker associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other biomarkers associated with the symptoms of dementia.

Though some studies have linked diets, such as the Mediterranean and DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) diets, to lowering the Alzheimer’s disease-specific biomarker called the tau protein, this study seems to show that high salt consumption contributes to the phosphates that form tau tangles in the brain.

Excessive salt intake is considered a risk factor for hypertension, cognitive dysfunction, and dementia,” says Dr. Hisayoshi Kubota, lead author of the study.

In related news, recent studies have found that increasing omega 3 and magnesium intake could also lower the risk of developing dementia.

SAFE recommends consumers to limit their salt intake as much as possible, given the risk that high intake represents. Do to that, here are a few pieces of advice:

  • Choose salt-free, salt-reduced or low-salt foods;
  • Limit visits to fast-food restaurants where high-salt foods are consumed, and make healthy choices;
  • Taste food before adding salt to make sure you don’t need to;
  • Eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables (which are rich in potassium, which counteracts the harmful effects of salt) and wholegrain products.