Salt and Disease

The Roman word from which the name 'salt' is derived is Salus, Goddess of Health. Gandhi argued that salt was ''essential for human well being, specially in a poor country like India where its inhabitants eat vegetables and rice which contain low salt.'' However, although its name evokes health, over the years a long-term excess intake of salt has come to be recognized as a major cause of hypertension and thus a risk for stroke and coronary heart disease. An excess of dietary salt may also affect gastric cancer, osteoporosis, and bronchial hyper-reactivity. Evidence also suggests that high-salt intake causes left ventricular hypertrophy independently of blood pressure effects.

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