Salt, no salt. What to do? Excess salt in the diet brings on heart disease, strokes, and even makes autoimmune disease worse. And now, it may make healing that cut a little easier.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University say that mice that ate a diet with higher than normal salt, had an immune system boost against a parasite that infects the skin. Impossible you say? Let’s look closer. The team at Vanderbilt looked at mice with skin abrasions. What they found was very surprising. The healing abrasions contained higher levels of salt suggesting a role in the healing process. What’s more, human patients show the same thing!

Salt seems to boost the activity of macrophages, a special type of immune cell that helps skin heal. In fact, in mice they fought off Leishmania, a skin parasite that causes sores. But wait, before you rush out and pack in the salt, remember the already proven warning against too much salt in the diet. The Vanderbilt team is hoping this and further research will result in new applications for bandages to cover those skin abrasions.

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