Cigarette and Salt Cause Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis develops when the removal of old bone outpaces the creation of new ones. Although in early stages of bone loss, there may be no symptoms at all, it is like a silent trap being set for a fracture. However, experts warn against high-salt diet and cigarette smoking, saying these contribute to bone loss, reports Sade Oguntola. Cigarette smoking and excessive intake of salt appear to be significant risk factors for developing osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to weaken and makes them susceptible to breaking.
Salt in moderation is good for one’s health. In fact, without salt in the body, it would not be able to function both physically and mentally. But people who eat high-salt diets are prone to developing medical problems such as osteoporosis.
Weakening of the bones, known as osteoporosis, can increase the risk of fractures and is a major cause of disability among older people.
Medical researchers at the University of Alberta, looking into why high-salt diets weakens the bone and prone to developing medical problems such as kidney stones and osteoporosis, have discovered an important link between sodium and calcium through their work with animal laboratory models and cells.
Both were found to be controlled by the same molecule in the body. When sodium intake becomes too high, the body tries to get rid of sodium via the urine, but as this happens, the body also gets rid of calcium at the same time, so depleting the calcium stored in the body.
This is significant because more and more people are consuming increased amount of high-salt diet.
But high levels of calcium in the urine can lead to the development of kidney stones, while its inadequacy in the body leads to thin bones and osteoporosis.
Besides, high-salt diet increases the risk of developing stroke, severity of heart failure, kidney problem, tendency for platelets to aggregate, stomach ulcers and stomach cancer as well as the severity of asthma.
It has been known for a long time that this important molecule was responsible for sodium absorption in the body, but the discovery published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology that the same molecule plays a role in regulating calcium levels is new.