what's the buzz

what's the buzz

Salt consumption not harmful

How much salt to include in our diets has always been a controversial subject, but a European study has concluded that salt consumption is not dangerous and may in fact, be beneficial.

The study contradicts the American Medical Association, American Heart Association and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which advocate that higher sodium consumption can increase the risk of heart disease. The researchers studied 3,681 middle-aged Europeans who did not have high blood pressure or heart disease.

The participants were divided into three groups: low salt; moderate salt and high salt consumption. The results showed there were 50 deaths in the low salt group, 24 in the moderate consumption group and only 10 in the high consumption group.Furthermore, the heart disease risk in the low consumption group was 56 per cent higher. Hence, the researchers concluded that lesser salt the participants ate, the more likely they would die from heart disease. “There is no disagreement that high blood pressure  is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. However, salt consumption does not seem to have the same effect on everyone,”said co-authors Dian Griesel, Ph.D. and Tom Griesel.

Obesity and weight-loss efforts

According to a study conducted by the University of Illinois, the brain chemistry of obese dieters' tends to work against their weight-loss efforts.

“When obese persons reduce their food intake too drastically, their bodies appear to
resist their weight loss efforts. They may have to work harder and go slower in order to outsmart their brain chemistry,” said Gregory G Freund, a professor in the U of I College of Medicine. Freund cautioned against beginning a diet with a fast or cleansing day, which appears to trigger significant alterations in the immune system that work against weight loss.

“Take smaller steps to start your weight loss and keep it going,” he advises.
The study was supported with an experiment conducted on mice.For 12 weeks, one group consumed a low-fat diet (10 per cent fat); the other group was fed a high fat (60 per cent fat) and had become obese. The mice were then fasted for 24 hours. The results showed that the leaner mice lost 18 per cent of their body weight compared to 5 per cent for the obese mice.

Freund said: “Our data show that fasting induces an anti-inflammatory effect on a lean animal’s neuroimmune system, and that effect is inhibited by a high-fat diet.”

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