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High salt consumption promotes unhealthy vascular changes even in adolescents

High salt consumption promotes unhealthy vascular changes even in adolescents


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High salt consumption by teenagers can lead to vascular changes
If you want to eat a healthy diet, you should not only keep your fat and sugar consumption within limits, but also not eat too much salt. This is especially true for children and teenagers. A recent study has shown that high salt consumption can lead to unhealthy vascular changes even in teenagers.

Too much salt is unhealthy
For years, nutrition experts have been calling for reducing salt consumption. Salt is a vital mineral for the body. But those who eat too much of it risk health damage such as high blood pressure. This also increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks. A study by US researchers a few months ago showed that even children's health is at risk from too much salt. And now scientists have reported that adolescents who eat too much salt often show unhealthy vascular changes.

Measurable changes in the blood vessels
In teenagers who eat too much salt, measurable changes in their blood vessels are measurable. Researchers reported this at the Pediatric Societies Meeting 2017 in San Francisco.

The official news magazine of the "American Academy of Pediatrics" explains that hardening of the arteries is one of the preliminary stages of cardiovascular diseases and is a known risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

Earlier studies have shown that decreasing flexibility of the arteries in adolescence is associated with risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Less artery flexibility
A total of 775 young people took part in the study. The researchers determined the elasticity of the arm arteries in the test subjects. The teenagers themselves documented how much salt they consumed in a food diary.

According to Dr. Elaine M. Urbina showed the measurements that higher salt consumption was associated with lower arterial flexibility and a higher pulse wave velocity (PWV).

Increased salt consumption therefore had a lower arterial flexibility both in the peripheral arteries in the extremities and in the central arteries.

“It is known that adolescents and young adults tend to eat more salt than is recommended. Our study suggests that this is associated with changes in the body that increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in the longer term, ”said Dr. Urbina.

No more than a teaspoon of salt a day
But how much salt should you eat?

"The responsible authorities for health and food safety agree that for most Europeans the daily consumption (approx. 8-11 g) is far above the recommended level", writes the World Health Organization (WHO) on its website.

The WHO recommends a salt intake of less than five grams per day (corresponding to about a teaspoon of salt daily) to prevent cardiovascular diseases. This maximum amount also applies to children between the ages of seven and ten.

In children between 18 months and three years, the salt intake should not exceed two grams per day. And in children under nine months, no salt should be added to the diet. (ad)

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