Allergies by salt? Munich researchers find surprising link

Allergies by salt? Munich researchers find surprising link

This connection could explain why the number of Allergy sufferers has increased in the last decades. This is because, with increased Fast-Food consumption, the intake of salt is increased.

Salt has an ambiguous reputation: on the one Hand, it is an important mineral for the human body, we need to daily feeding from the outside. On the other hand, too much salt is harmful. So, a salt-rich diet can promote the blood pressure and thereby cardiovascular diseases. Also, salt seems to delay even the puberty and affect our memory, as studies suggest.

In addition, researchers have found that salt diseases may play a role in autoimmune diseases such as Multiple sclerosis plays. Apparently, the sodium chloride in the organism can stimulate the differentiation of so-called TH17 predominate immune cells and thus the functioning of the body’s own defense system effect.

Influence on immune cells

Julia Matthias, from the Technical University of Munich and their colleagues have now investigated whether salt can also affect the activity of other T helper cell types. For their study, they treated T-cells from mice and healthy human donors with sodium chloride. The results showed: salt also affects the so-called TH2-cells – immune cells, the medical profession with the emergence of allergic diseases in the field.

So, as yet undifferentiated T-cells increase the incidence of TH2 cells developed in the presence of sodium chloride. The activity of this cell type was increased by the salt treatment. As a result, the release increased of Immune mediators such as Interleukin-4 and Interleukin-13. "Signals of the ions from the salt play a role in the emergence and control of TH2-Zellen", co-author Christina Zielinski says. But how can these effects be explained? As the researchers found, gives sodium chloride its effect by increasing the transcription factor NFAT5 as well as the enzyme SGK-1 interacts with: It is their activity.

More salt in the sick skin

Because misguided TH2 immune cell responses will be of Central importance for allergic immune and this type of cell in the case of many Allergy sufferers predominates, asked Matthias and your colleagues: What is the role of the salt in this context? In search of Clues, the researchers analyzed skin samples from patients with atopic Dermatitis – better known as eczema. The result: In the affected areas of the skin, the sodium chloride concentration was significantly higher than in healthy skin. The values were, in part, increased by 30 Times.

The high amounts of Salt in the skin, according to the researchers, although still unknown. Clear notes, however, that salt plays a previously underestimated role for TH2-immune responses and potentially clinical relevance for allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis. "Actually healing-a book of which is already in a well-known, 100-year-old children, the speech that salt can help in the diet at this skin disorders. At the time, however, there was still no explanation dafür", the Team writes.

Explanation for the Allergy epidemic?

Future studies to confirm the observed connection, this could provide a further explanation for why the number of Allergy sufferers in the course of the past 50 years has drastically increased. Finally, we consume more highly processed foods, and Fast Food – and thus also more and more salt, as the scientists emphasize. (Science Translational Medicine, 2019; doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau0683)

Source: AAAS/ Technical University of Munich

This article was written by Daniela Albat

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