Toronto: People eating high salt diets tend to develop kidney stones and osteoporosis, a bone disease that leads to increased risk of fracture, says a study.
Principal investigator Todd Alexander from the University of Alberta and his team have uncovered an important link between sodium and calcium.
They appear to be regulated by the same molecule in the body. When sodium intake becomes too high, the body gets rid of sodium via the urine, taking calcium with it, which depletes calcium stores in the body.
High levels of calcium in the urine lead to the development of kidney stones, while inadequate levels of calcium in the body lead to thin bones and osteoporosis, the American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology reported.
"When the body tries to get rid of sodium via the urine, our findings suggest the body also gets rid of calcium at the same time," said Alexander, researcher in the faculty of medicine & dentistry at the University of Alberta, according to its statement.
"This is significant because we are eating more and more sodium in our diets, which means our bodies are getting rid of more and more calcium. Our findings reinforce why it is important to have a low sodium diet and why it is important to have lower sodium levels in processed foods."
"We asked a simple question with our research - could sodium and calcium absorption be linked? And we discovered they are," said Alexander.
"We found a molecule that seems to have two jobs - regulating the levels of both calcium and sodium in the body. Our findings provide very real biological evidence that this relationship between sodium and calcium is real and linked," he added.