High-salt diet stops tumor growth

It is known that consumption of salt in large quantities is harmful to health, in particular it increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. But if you have cancer, however, the opposite effect is observed. Researchers from Nanjing University, the University of Macao and Vannan College of Medicine conducted an experiment on laboratory mice and found out how salty foods can block tumour growth. Xinhua reports.

For 16 days, rodents with melanoma and breast cancer were fed with low and high salt content food. As a result, mice that received a lot of salt were smaller in size and weight in two types of tumors than their congeners that ate weakly salted food.

Experts analyzed the mechanism of inhibition of tumor growth: it turned out that food salt reduced the accumulation of myeloid suppressor cells in the blood, spleen and the tumor itself. These cells have immune-suppressing properties. However, a diet high in salt turned them into immunostimulating cells that restored the body's natural defence and reduced tumor growth.

The authors of the study concluded that salt can enhance the effect of immunotherapy, but they have yet to understand how its consumption in large quantities will affect the overall health.

April 14, 2020, 9:39 a.m.

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