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High-salt diet blocks tumor growth in mice

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Published Friday 7 June 2019
Fact checked by Carolyn Robertson
New research in cell cultures and two separate mouse models finds that a diet high in salt reduces tumor growth by altering the function of certain immune cells.
A high intake of salt can trigger antitumor immune reactions.

More and more studies have been pointing to the pro-inflammatory effects of excessive salt intake.


For instance, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel diseases are only some of the autoimmune conditions that a high-salt intake can exacerbate by overstimulating immune reactions.


However, in the case of cancer, inducing a pro-inflammatory state may be beneficial in the fight against tumors. Recently, immunotherapy has emerged as one of the most promising avenues for treating cancer.


So, in this context, a team of researchers set out to examine the effects of a high-salt intake on tumor growth in cell cultures and two independent mouse models.


Professor Markus Kleinewietfeld — who is the head of the VIB-UHasselt lab, that is, a collaboration between VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology) and the University of Hasselt in Belgium — led the research team.


Prof. Kleinewietfeld and colleagues published their findings in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.


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