More and more people are concerned about the increasing number of Alzheimer’s patients. As per Alzheimer’s News Today, the statistics are appalling. Worldwide, about 44 million people deal with the disease. In the United States, about 5.5 million people have it, with 200,000 of them aged younger than 65. Concerning age, it was shown that women comprise the majority of the patients.

A recent study, however, showed that there is something you can do about it. By cutting down on salt, you may be able to help prevent the onset of the disease. So how is salt related to Alzheimer’s?

Salt Reduction

Renowned neurologist, Prof. Constantino Iadecola, stated that “The results identify a previously unknown pathway linking dietary habits and cognitive function.” According to Iadecola, when mice were fed with food that was laced with salt, it resulted in a series of chemical reactions, which led to an increase in the tau.

how to prevent alzheimers disease dementia by cutting down on salt intake
how to prevent alzheimers disease dementia by cutting down on salt intake geralt - Pixabay

“Tau” or “tau tangles,” are the protein clumps that collect in the brain. These clumps are the ones responsible for memory loss. Thus, those who eat foods that have lots of salt are said to be at a higher risk of developing dementia.

Going back to the mice, when the tau increased, their cognitive functions also lessened. In a maze test, they yielded poorer results. They found it difficult to recognize objects as compared to how they were before the high-salt diet.

As per Iadecola, the mice developed a deficit in terms of their spatial memory. Novel objects also became harder for them to recognize. This came after 12 weeks of a diet with high salt content.

Lack of Spatial Awareness

Comparing the results with the mice to that of dementia symptoms, the latter’s major symptom is, in fact, “lack of spatial awareness.” When there is too much salt in the body, it reduces the production of nitric oxide (NO). This is very important since it helps in boosting blood flow in the brain. With reduced blood flow, the brain also becomes unhealthy.

It was found that patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have low levels of nitric oxide in their brains. Thus, if you want to prevent the onset of dementia, better watch your salt intake. This will ensure that there would be enough nitric oxide in the brain that would promote good blood flow, which will keep the brain healthy.