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Reducing Sodium Intake may Lower Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis

By: MerxWire

Recent studies indicate a potential link between atopic dermatitis (AD) and high sodium intake. Limiting dietary sodium may be a low-risk method to prevent atopic dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin disease characterized by dry, inflamed, and itchy skin. (Photo via

Boston, MA (Merxwire) – Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a prevalent chronic skin condition affecting approximately 20% of children and 10% of adults worldwide. This common condition, characterized by dry skin, redness, and itching, significantly impacts the quality of life for those affected. The prevalence of AD has been on the rise, particularly in industrialized countries, and is believed to be influenced by dietary environment and lifestyle factors.

The University of California, San Francisco, spearheaded a pivotal study that meticulously examined the dietary patterns of numerous atopic dermatitis patients. This study, published in JAMA Dermatology, uncovered a potential correlation between high sodium intake and the exacerbation of the condition and opened up new avenues of research for the medical community, underscoring its significance and impact.

The experiment analyzed data from 215,832 participants aged 37 to 73 in the UK Biobank. Their average age was 56.5 years, with 54.3% being female 和 95.2% being white. Researchers estimated their 24-hour urinary sodium excretion based on biomarkers collected at a single time point. From urine samples, they assessed each individual’s sodium intake, its relation to whether they had been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, and the severity of the condition. Results showed that for every gram increase in 24-hour urinary sodium, the likelihood of having atopic dermatitis increased by 11%. It was also associated with a 16% increase in disease activity and an 11% increase in the risk of more severe symptoms.

Subsequently, they were surveyed through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 13,000 American adults. Based on dietary questionnaires, increasing daily sodium intake by 1 gram increased the likelihood of developing atopic dermatitis by 22%.

A study from the University of California, San Francisco, shows that increasing daily sodium intake significantly increases the risk of atopic dermatitis. (Photo via

The study’s findings suggest that a high-sodium diet could disrupt inflammatory and immune responses in the skin, thereby intensifying the symptoms of atopic dermatitis. This implies that regulating dietary sodium intake could be a practical and effective method for patients to manage their symptoms. Associate Professor Abuba from the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, stressed that while the onset of atopic dermatitis is unpredictable, controlling sodium content in the diet can be a proactive measure to prevent it, highlighting the practical implications of the research.

A balanced diet remains the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. Excessive sodium intake can disrupt the body’s salt balance, compromising the skin barrier function and increasing the risk of allergic reactions. For individuals with atopic dermatitis, it is crucial to reduce the consumption of high-salt foods, such as pickles, cured foods, and high-salt snacks, and instead opt for natural foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Adequate hydration through daily water intake and avoiding excessive sugary and caffeinated beverages are also key to maintaining skin health, reiterating the importance of a balanced diet in the context of atopic dermatitis.

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