Delayed puberty due to too much salt?

Salt rich Di tl sst rats ripen later

Our typical diet is getting saltier - with potentially drastic consequences for development. © freeimages
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Versal development? Puberty is significantly delayed in rats with a salty diet, US researchers report. This disturbed development can reduce fertility later in life and lead to disturbed behavior. The scientists therefore warn against the harmful effects of a high-salt diet in humans, especially in view of the rising salinity of the typical welfare diet.

Whether you like it or not, most people in industrialized countries feed too salty. The excess of salt has not only consequences for the taste: it is considered to increase blood pressure and thus leads to cardiovascular diseases. In addition, it could stimulate cells of the immune system and promote their overzealous use autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatism. Although the salt obviously stimulates the immune system to fight infections, it can even lower blood pressure during pregnancy. Generally, however, the rule of thumb is "less is more".

Salt upsets development

Scientists led by Dori Pitynskivon of the University of Wyoming have now described another reason at a conference to cautious with salt in the kitchen. If they gave rats very high-salt food, puberty was much later in the experimental animals than in the control diet with normal diet. The high salt level was approximately three to four times that of the WHO recommended daily amount of 5 grams of saline for the rats.

Interestingly, the scientists also observed an opposite effect: If the salt in the feed was completely missing, the rats also reached puberty later. Pitynski and her colleagues conclude that salt is important for normal development, but an excess seems to upset this development.

The result is not just a later sexual maturity: Previous studies have shown that a delayed puberty in humans can lead to behavioral problems, higher levels of stress and less fertility. display

Contrast of salt and fat?

This effect of salt in food could have been masked by yet another feature of the typical industrialized countries diet: high-fat foods can begin puberty earlier. "Our work shows that large amounts of fat and salt have mutual effects on fertility, " says Pitynski. However, the scientists consider the effect of the salt to be more pronounced and therefore more important in terms of health.

Today, salt is not only found in obviously salty-tasting foods like pretzel sticks or soy sauce. Also smoked meat and sausage and above all many ready meals contain a lot of salt above all so foods, which are more frequent with increasing prosperity. Pitynski warns: "Salt accumulation in the western population may have drastic health consequences and require further attention."

(European Society of Endocrinology, 18.05.2015 - AKR)