Revisit of Salt And C treatment plan from a decade ago

A decade ago the “Salt and C” protocol was very popular with a few being helped by it.  A reader sent me a study link, so it may be time to update my 2013 post on Salt And C. I have been watching ME/CFS treatment trends (? Fads? ) for almost 20 years — especially pre-facebook when CFSFMExperimental (Est. 1997!) was the place for cutting edge theories and discussion and over 3000 posts in a month.

Salt and C was taking mega-dosages of both.

Sodium Chloride

The article that the reader shared was “High-salt diet throws microbiome out of whack” [Nov 2017]. It you have a healthy microbiome, you don’t want to do it./… but if you have an unhealthy one… it may be worth tossing the dice with it!

You will find details on what bacteria salt is known to impact on my microbiome site.

The actual study is “Salt-responsive gut commensal modulates TH17 axis and disease [Nov 15, 2017]” ” In line with these findings, a moderate high-salt challenge in a pilot study in humans reduced intestinal survival of Lactobacillus spp., increased TH17 cells and increased blood pressure. Our results connect high salt intake to the gut–immune axis and highlight the gut microbiome as a potential therapeutic target to counteract salt-sensitive conditions.”

Sodium intake is associated with changes in circulating metabolites, including gut microbial, tryptophan, plant component, and γ-glutamyl amino acid-related metabolites.” [2017]

“Recently it was shown that high salt conditions promote pathogenic T-cell responses and aggravate autoimmunity in an animal model of MS, suggesting that high dietary salt intake might promote central nervous system (CNS) autoimmunity. ” [2016]

“Within the gastrointestinal tract, increased exposure to dietary salt causes an increased inflammatory milieu (25). Dietary changes may also influence both the function and composition of the gut microbiome, which in turn could impact both innate and adaptive immunity through inducing increases in inflammatory cells while causing loss of Treg function (5556).” [2015]

Vitamin C

As above, we have details on it’s bacteria impact on my microbiome site.

  • Nutritional Correlates of Human Oral Microbiome [2017]
    • “vitamin C were rather consistently correlated with alpha (within subjects) diversity indexes in both richness (Chao and number of operational taxonomic units) and diversity (whole-tree and Shannon). “
    • ” Vitamin C and other vitamins with correlated intakes—for example, B vitamins and vitamin E—exhibited positive correlations with fusobacteria class, its family Leptotrichiaceae, and a clostridia family Lachnospiraceae.”
    •  Vitamin C intake had more pronounced effects on the presence of Lepto-trichiaceae and Lachnospiraceae, with estimated effect of 5.94
  • “Intakes of beta-carotene equivalents, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin equivalents and riboflavin correlated negatively with Bacteroides and/or its corresponding higher level taxa.” [2017]

A recent study found a lot of complexity on Vitamin C impact.

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Vitamin C and immune cell function in inflammation and cancer [2018]

Bottom Line

We know that high salt intake causes hypertension (high blood pressure) which for people with Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome ( POTS) can be a good thing (in theory). We see above that it also alters the microbiome. — unfortunately we only know that it decreases lactobacillus.

There is no sufficient information to recommend or issue cautions about salt for specific microbiome.

If your bacteroides level is high, you may wish to increase Vitamin C

In general, it was unsuccessful BUT some folks may try to revive it (it’s been long enough that people are not aware of the past results).