Will salt reduction promote cancer?
Aldosterone plays a major role in the maintenance of electrolytes and fluid balance and subsequent blood pressure control. Epidemiological studies that explore the connection between hypertension and cancer have found a higher rate of cancer-related mortality in hypertensive patients that have an elevated level of aldosterone. Recent research indicates that this may be the result of aldosterone-mediated damage to chromosomes and DNA in kidney cells.
For most people, the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is activated when our salt consumption drops below current levels. Although cardiovascular issues were always considered to be a possible unintended consequence of salt reduction, this study is one of the preliminary indications that an increase in cancer-related mortality may be a consequence as well. The Salt Institute will maintain a watching brief on the clinical research carried out in this area.