Are you on top of your nootropics game, carefully structuring your nootropic routine and maximizing all the cognitive benefits you can get?
Or maybe your experience with nootropics is a secondary effect from working on lowering stress levels, strengthening your immune system, and nourishing your nervous system with naturals (like medicinal mushrooms or adaptogens). If you think you’ve got your immune system functioning at peak levels because of your use of nootropics, there could be something ready to interfere with all your dedicated work—and it’s at your next meal.
So easy to overlook (and unfortunately, so easy to take in too much), salt is probably the last thing on your mind when you think about strengthening your immune system. Equally as important and easy to overlook is keeping your immune system going strong—because without a strong immune system, you’re not going to get those desired results from any supplement you take.
Research that came to us last year uncovered a link between excess salt consumption and the immune system. It’s excess salt consumption that we’re talking about; but it’s easier than you think to get too much salt. In fact, the amount of salt that was used in the study was equivalent to two fast-food meals (think hamburgers and fries). Participants ate their normal diet with no change to their salt intake and added in the equivalent of these fast-food meals.
The salt kept their immune system cells from functioning properly and weakened their ability to fight bacterial infections. This confirmed what was previously known from studies in rats, who are also noted to have slower healing times from infections when fed high-salt diets.
As far as impacting the immune system on the whole, high-salt consumption also ended up releasing more steroids in the body known as glucocorticoids. The problem with extra glucocorticoids is the risk of immune system suppression.
Being smart about how much salt you’re eating can benefit your immune system and help keep you in fighting shape to take on your next cognitive challenge!
Katarzyna Jobin, Natascha E. Stumpf, Sebastian Schwab, et al. A high-salt diet compromises antibacterial neutrophil responses through hormonal perturbation. Science Translational Medicine, 2020 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aay3850