A diet containing large amounts of salt could increase a person's risk of developing diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), according to new research.
Findings from several studies have been published simultaneously in the latest edition of the Nature journal and all appear to suggest a link.
It is believed salt stimulates a certain part of the immune system and encourages it to attack the body, leading to autoimmune conditions such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and MS.
A person's genes have a significant impact on their likelihood to develop such diseases, but the environment around them also contributes. It is often speculated that a viral infection can lead to MS, while smoking and a lack of vitamin D are also linked.
Researchers discovered that mice fed a high-salt diet had an increased chance of developing a disease resembling MS.
The scientists urged caution around the findings, stating more research must be done before a definitive link can be suggested.
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