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Low-salt diets can lead to systemic insulin resistance, raising significant health concerns: Study

June 25,2024

New Delhi: A groundbreaking study published in the Journal of Metabolic Health reveals that low-salt diets can lead to systemic insulin resistance, raising significant health concerns. The study, based on 23 human clinical trials, indicates that such diets contribute to a host of metabolic disorders, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and obesity.

Dr Ameet G Sattur, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Sattur Heart Care, noted the cardiology perspective, explaining, “Low-salt diets are indicated for some heart ailments and as a part of dietary restriction for patients with hypertension. They can trigger insulin resistance, elevating the risk of hypertension and increasing the risk of cardiovascular issues such as heart disease and stroke. While sodium restriction may lower blood pressure in some, it often leads to adverse metabolic outcomes. Twin Health’s tailored dietary plans consider individual metabolic responses, offering a safer and more effective approach to managing chronic conditions.”

The study highlights several mechanisms through which low-salt diets impact insulin sensitivity, including activation of the sympathetic nervous system, reduced skeletal muscle blood flow, and increased stress hormones like noradrenaline and aldosterone. These changes can lead to severe metabolic disruptions, making it essential to reassess the universal recommendation of low-salt diets.

Dr Maluk Mohammed, Co-founder, Twin Health, added, “Low-salt diets are linked to significant metabolic disruptions, but our Whole Body Digital Twin technology can provide a solution. By analysing over 3,000 data points daily, we deliver personalised nutrition recommendations that balance macro, micro, and biota nutrients, ensuring better health outcomes.”

Focussing on nutritional perspective, Kanikka Malhotra, Clinical Dietitian and Diabetes Educator said, “Low-salt diets are often recommended for lowering blood pressure but can have unintended consequences like worsening insulin resistance. This resistance leads to elevated blood glucose levels, and weight gain. Twin Health’s personalised nutrition approach, however, can help mitigate these risks by providing balanced, individualised diet plans.”

Insulin resistance, the study explains, occurs when the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin, leading to elevated blood glucose levels and a cascade of metabolic issues. It affects glucose regulation, lipid metabolism, and even mitochondrial function, contributing to conditions like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and polycystic ovary syndrome.

As India grapples with rising rates of chronic metabolic diseases, the findings highlight the need for personalised nutrition strategies. Twin Health’s approach, leveraging advanced AI and digital twin technology, offers a promising alternative to conventional dietary guidelines. By focusing on individual metabolic needs, Twin Health aims to improve overall health outcomes and reduce the burden of chronic diseases.

Source: Healthworld

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