Refined Salt Triggering Autoimmune Disease

Refined Salt

Refined Salt Triggering Autoimmune Disease

On Wednesday, March 06, 2013, Yale researchers identified refined salt triggering autoimmune diseases.  According to their study, “adding salt to the diet of mice induced production of a type of T cells previously associated with autoimmune diseases and that mice on salt diets developed a more severe form of an MS animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.”

Dr. David Hafler, the Gilbert H. Glaser Professor of Neurology, professor of immunobiology, chair of the Department of Neurology, and senior author of the Yale paper states  “Humans were genetically selected for conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, where there was no salt.  Today, Western diets all have high salt content and that has led to increase in hypertension and perhaps autoimmune disease as well.”

My Autoimmune Research

While I don’t believe that refined salt is the only problem with autoimmune diseases, it does make sense with my choosing calories over sodium prior to developing Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). For example, I used to eat Healthy Choice TV dinners at least 3-4 times a week prior to my diet change.  Not only did it contain medium-high levels of sodium, but the list of additives and other ingredients helped trigger my autoimmune disease. Since the beginning of changing my food habits in early 2012, I’ve stopped table salt and switched to mineral-rich Himalayan Sea Salt when needed.  More importantly, I prepare and eat most of my meals at home versus eating at restaurants which are notorious for foods with high levels of sodium.

Bottom Line

If you want to kick AS or any autoimmune disease, learn to cook with healthy whole foods and switch refined salt to Himalayan sea salt.

  • Janet Markoski-Hoegler

    Interesting about the salt!! My daughter is notorious for over-salting her food! Bye-Bye table salt!!

    • brianzajac

      Good start Janet. Here are other foods/food types I try to avoid that may help her out: And here’s a test that showed me other food types (especially with gluten) to avoid: Try to remove a food from her diet for at least a week and see if you see any changes. If not, she should be OK. But anything that makes her more moody, cramps, bloating, tired, sick, gassy, etc. should be avoided in the diet. Overall, though, I do suggest you keep her away from any types of breads / flours & grains. If needed, you could just use rice as her starch.