We’ve long known that a high-salt diet has a role in raising blood pressure for some people. Now German scientists have presented a potential mechanism not previously considered: Excessive salt intake may wipe out beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria in our guts. That can drive up blood pressure numbers and raise the risk for certain diseases like stroke, according to a June 2018 Medical News Today report on research presented at the British Cardiovascular Society Conference. More research is needed to figure out how the salt-microbiome-BP connection works and if some people suffer more than others, but in the future a probiotic supplement might be developed to help treat hypertension.

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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