A high-salt diet increases stress – a healing practice

Effects of consuming large amounts of salt

Lots of Salt in the diet can lead to significantly increased stress level contribute to and thereby worsen psychological well-being.

In a new study involving experts from University of Edinburgh It was investigated whether high salt intake has an effect on the production of stress hormones in the body. The results were published in the English-language journal Cardiovascular Research.

Mice were fed a high-salt diet

That the intake of a large amount of salt has a negative effect on health and, above all, that cardiovascular system has been known for a long time. State of knowledge on the effects of a high-salt diet on Psyche however, it is relatively low.

For the new study, researchers fed mice that normally ate a low-salt diet a food that was especially a lot of salt contained in order to find out whether it caused the so-called Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is activated and a permanent excess of glucocorticoids develops.

After just two weeks of consuming a high-salt diet, basal activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis was evident, the team reports. Also, have a high salt intake Glucocorticoid response to stress increased, indicating increased sensitivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

After two to eight weeks, high salt intake in the animals also led to an increase in daily intake Peak plasma corticosterone levelsthe research team continues.

A lot of salt increases stress in mice

According to experts stress hormone levels mice in the resting phase and in addition hormonal response mice responded twice as strongly to environmental stress compared to animals that ate a normal diet.

Salt intake increased the activity of specific genes. They produce proteins in the brain that control how it will be the body’s response to stress expires, the team explains.

Salty foods change the psyche

We are what we eat, and understanding how high-salt foods change our mental health is an important step towards improving well-being.“, says the author of the study Professor Matthew Bailey in a press release.

The study shows that the high level of salt in our diet also changes the way our brain deals with stress. The scientists hope that their new findings will be taken into account in health policy and e.g. Amount of salt in processed foods reduce.

We eat too much salt

The German Society for Nutrition eV (DGE) gives an indicative value of up to six grams of table salt per day on. However, take 70 percent women and probably 80 percent men he consumes more than six grams of table salt per day.

This shows how widespread excessive salt intake is in the population. Salt is also sa increase in blood pressure connected, so the risk of high blood pressure increases significantly due to massive salt consumption.

high blood pressure is in turn one of the most important risk factors for the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. The intake of a large amount of salt in the diet therefore indirectly increases this as well risk of cardiovascular disease.

Other consequences of too much salt

Elevated blood pressure also increases the risk, according to scientists involved in the current study vascular dementia. And other studies are currently investigating whether a high salt consumption not only to stress, but also to behavior changes how fear and aggression contribute. (as)

Author and source information

This text meets the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been reviewed by health professionals.


  • Hannah M. Costello, Georgios Krilis, Celine Grenier, David Severs, Alicja Czopek et al: High salt intake activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, amplifies the stress response, and alters tissue glucocorticoid exposure in mice; in: Cardiovascular research (veröffentlicht 11.11.2022), Cardiovascular research
  • Universtiy of Edinburgh: Excess salty food causes stress in the body (veröffentlicht 16.11.2022), Universtiy of Edinburgh
  • German Society for Nutrition eV: Selected questions and answers about table salt (accessed 17 November 2022), German Society for Nutrition eV

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot replace a doctor’s visit.

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