Adding Table Salt to Your Food May Increase Stomach Cancer Risk by 40%

Adding salt to your food may increase your risk of stomach cancerby 40%, according to a new study

Published Time: 10.05.2024 - 18:31:05 Modified Time: 10.05.2024 - 18:31:05

Adding salt to your food may increase your risk of stomach cancerby 40%, according to a new study.

Research published in the journal Gastric Cancer looked at data from more than 500,000 people from the United Kingdom, excluding those with existing cancer or kidney issues.

“We found that participants who always added salt to food at table had a 41% greater risk of developing gastric cancer than those who never/rarely added salt,” the study said.

Stomach cancer is the fifth most common cancer worldwide, according to the National Cancer Institute, which says “It is more common in countries in East Asia, Eastern Europe, and South and Central America than in the United States and other Western countries.”

The organization also points out that “eating a diet that is low in fruits and vegetables or that is high in salted, smoked, or poorly preserved foods may increase the risk of stomach cancer.”

As the recent study points out, Asian populations have high rates of stomach cancer due to “high intakes of salt, salted fish, pickled foods and processed meats.”

But the study has its limitations, its authors pointed out.

“While our study based on a large cohort suggests that always adding salt to food at table is also associated with a higher risk of gastric cancer in Western populations, it has several limitations. Case numbers in our study were not sufficient to evaluate the influence of potential modifiers su -

ch as sex, age, ethnicity, H. pylori infection, or smoking status,” the study said.

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However,  “individuals who add more salt are also more likely to consume foods with higher sodium content; thus, and given that dietary salt intake is prone to measurement error, true associations between salt intake and gastric cancer risk could be stronger than those observed in this study.” 

Cancer rates in the U.S. are overall rising; A recent report says that this year, 2 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer — the most ever.

“Americans consume more than 3,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day, on average,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says, adding that the federal recommendation is 2,300 mg of sodium.

Those at a high risk of stomach cancer can screen for the illness with an endoscopy, the National Cancer Institute says.

However, stomach cancer is generally not diagnosed in its early stages, the organization says, and later diagnoses often lead to poorer outcomes.

“Stomach cancer is often advanced when it is diagnosed,” the National Cancer Institute says. “At advanced stages, stomach cancer can be treated but is rarely cured.”

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