cidp and salt

High-Salt Intake and CIDP

High-Salt intake has been associated with the overproduction of cells that are associated with autoimmune diseases. High-salt intake may not be so good for people who suffer from CIDP.

By Shiraz Abbas

CIDP (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy) is a form of peripheral neuropathy that is the result of an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disease like CIDP are increasing at an alarming rate across the developed world. Researchers are always on the hunt for the dietary and environmental culprits behind these kinds of diseases. A study published in Nature has identified a possible culprit behind autoimmune disorders: table salt.

The immune system is a wonderful thing. But it needs balance for the body to survive optimally. Too little of an immune function leads to sickness, and too much of it makes it attack the body and its healthy tissue. The latter is known as an autoimmune disease.

Autoimmune diseases can be traced back to the molecular level. Researchers have suggested that the overproduction of a particular cell (TH17) is associated with the production of an inflammatory protein known as interleukin-17.


As published in Nature, researchers found that when mouse cells were cultured in high-salt conditions, they produced more TH17 cells compared to those grown in regular conditions. According to the study’s co-author Vicay Kuchroo, “If you incrementally increase salt, you get generation after generation of these TH17 cells”.

Studies have thus shown that in a diet that is characterized by high-salt intake for mice with multiple sclerosis, the disease’s progression is accelerated.

Researchers have thus hypothesized that salt may be one of the triggers of autoimmune diseases. Obviously one must be careful as we cannot fully predict this with humans. Furthermore, just because it may be linked with one autoimmune disease, it does not mean that it will be linked to another.

But for those who suffer from CIDP, it may not hurt to lower salt intake within the confines of the daily recommended intake. High salt consumption can never be good as it has been associated with many other disorders in the body, even prevalent ones like osteoporosis. It would not be surprising if it was also a culprit behind CIDP.

Shiraz Abbas is the founder and manager of the CIDP Neuropathy Support Group. He is also one of the main community educators of IVIG therapy. He resides in Fresno, California. Shiraz can be contacted through our free CIDP advice service at 1-855-782-0574.

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