Sparkling mineral water may contain higher salt levels than tap water

Many carbonated mineral waters may contain high levels of salt



And drinking large amounts daily can contribute to unhealthy salt levels and make you more thirsty. Tap water contains only 0.45g of salt per litre compared to luxury mineral brands, some of which are the worst offenders:

  • French Badoit contains 8 per cent of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of salt for adults, with 0.45g per litre.  It’s 11 times saltier than tap water.
  • Italian brand San Pellegrino has double the amount of salt found in tap water, with  0.08g per litre
  • Buxton sparkling water contains 0.06g per litre – one and a half times the salt in tap water.
  • Spa Barisart and Highland Spring are two of the least salty on the market, with just 0.01g of salt per litre, a quarter of the amount found in tap water.

Consuming too much salt can cause a number of health problems including raising blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke, and kidney problems.

In the UK the recommended maximum daily consumption of salt is 6g.  But consumers can be confused by the different names given to salt such as sodium or the chemical name Na.

Although the British Soft Drinks Federation says new guidelines will ensure that salt is called salt in drinks from December.


Vitamin B1protects against kidney disease

Recent study results suggest that taking a high-dose vitamin B1 supplement each day may help diabetics reduce their risk of kidney damage.

Diabetic nephropathy, or kidney disease, is a common complication of type 2 diabetes. An early indicator of kidney disease is microalbuminuria, where the kidney leaks albumin into the urine.

New research examined whether vitamin B1 would effect microalbuminuria and the results sugest it can reverse the onset of early diabetic kidney disease.

In the trial type 2 diabetics were given 300 milligrams of vitamin B1 (thiamine) each day for three months. Results showed that the vitamin supplement reduced the rate of albumin excretion by 41%. Furthermore, 35% of patients with microalbuminuria saw their urine albumin excretion return to normal after being treated with the vitamin.

The research is published online at Diabetologia

Refined cereals linked to kidney cancer

Milan: Refined foods such as bread increase the risk of kidney cancer, according to new reaserach from Milan’s Institute of Pharmacological Research.

People who eat five slices of bread each day, for example, are nearly twice as likely to develop the disease compared to those who eat 1.5 slices.

The elevated risk is caused by an increase in blood sugar and insulin as a result of eating refined cereals which result in the growth of cancer cells. The researchers, whose work is reported in the International Journal of Cancer, recommend replacing refined cereals with whole cereals.

The researchers studied more than 2,300 Italians – 767 who had the disease and 1,534 who did not – and asked them detailed information about their diet over the previous two years.

The scientists found a clear link between eating lots of bread and the risk of getting the cancer.

Overall those in the group that ate the most bread – equivalent to 35 slices weekly or five a day – were almost twice as likely to develop the cancer as those who had just 11 slices a week – around one and a half a day.

In contrast, those who ate a high proportion of poultry, meat and vegetables had a lower risk of getting the kidney cancer.

The study did not establish exactly what in bread may be to blame, however the researchers believe it may be linked to the high Glycaemic Index of many types.

Foods with a high GI cause a draondmatic rise in blood sugar levels which leads to the release of insulin and in turn chemicals that can fuel cell growth.

The theory is that cancer cells use these chemicals and the glucose to fuel their own unchecked, and therefore dangerous, growth.

Past studies have also found women who follow a low GI diet after the menopause have a lower risk of breast cancer than those who have lots of high GI foods.

The diet is also advised for people with diabetes to help prevent peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels.

Lead researcher Dr Francesca Bravi said her study suggested a diet with fewer cereals and more vegetables may help reduce the risk of renal cell carcinoma.

‘On the basis of the study we can also suggest reducing the consumption of refined cereals and increase that of wholegrain ones’ she added.

Worldwide increase in kidney disease

London: Chronic kidney disease is rising rapidly worldwide and is becoming a global healthcare problem, warn experts in this week’s British Medical Journal.

In the United Kingdom, the annual incidence of end stage renal disease is around 100 per 1,000,000 population. This figure has doubled over the past decade and is expected to continue to rise by 5-8% annually, but it still remains well below the European average (around 135/1,000,000) and that of the United States (336/1,000,000).

The rise in end stage renal disease worldwide probably reflects the global epidemic of type 2 diabetes and the ageing of the populations in developed countries (the annual incidence in people over 65 in the UK is greater than 350/1,000,000, and in the US it is greater than 1,200/1,000,000).

The number of people with diabetes worldwide, currently around 154 million, is also set to double within the next 20 years, and the increase will be most notable in the developing world, where the number of patients with diabetes is due to reach 286 million by 2025.

The cost of treating end stage renal disease is substantial and poses a great challenge to provision of care. In Europe, less than 0.1% of the population needs renal replacement therapy, which accounts for 2% of the healthcare budget. In the US, the annual cost of treatment for end stage renal disease is expected to reach $29 billion by 2010. Few countries will be able to meet these growing medical and financial demands.

More than 100 developing countries, with a population in excess of 600 million, do not have any provision for renal replacement therapy. Consequently, more than a million people may die every year worldwide from end stage renal disease.

Programmes to detect chronic kidney disease, linked to comprehensive primary and secondary prevention strategies, are needed urgently, say the authors.

Mass population screening for chronic kidney disease is neither practical nor likely to be successful or cost effective. But structured and well resourced programs targeting at risk individuals, such as those suffering from diabetes and hypertension, along with primary prevention programmes based on reducing risk factors across the whole population could make a big difference.

The authors believe that such an approach to risk reduction may slow or even reverse declining renal function.