High Dietary Sodium Shown To Increase Exacerbations of Multiple Sclerosis

High Dietary Sodium Shown To Increase Exacerbations of Multiple Sclerosis

This conclusion is based upon a recent study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, August 2014, from centers in Argentina and the US. Three papers, which were published in 2013 in the journal Nature, showed that in animals, sodium might play a role in MS and autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes mellitus.

The World Health Organization guidelines are as follows regarding sodium intake: Low is less than 2 grams per day, medium between 2 and 4.8 grams a day, and high more than 4.8 grams a day. Many studies have shown that more than 7 grams per day is associated with higher mortality from cardiovascular diseases. High sodium increases activity of Th17 cells, which are implicated in MS and other diseases.

In the high sodium group, more than 4 grams a day, relapses and new MRI lesions were increased almost fourfold. The results are not definitive but` they suggest a simple mechanism to reduce disease activity.

For details, see Neurology Today, October 2, 2014.

Dr. Jack Florin, MD
Neurologist
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