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Salud mental

versión impresa ISSN 0185-3325


SOTO-ESCAGEDA, José Alberto et al. Does salt addiction exist?. Salud Ment [online]. 2016, vol.39, n.3, pp.175-181. ISSN 0185-3325.


Salt consumption activates the brain reward system, inducing cravings and the search for salted food. Its excessive intake is associated with high blood pressure and obesity. The high quantity of salt in processed food is most likely a major cause of the global pandemic of hypertension (HT).


To review the current information on the topic of salt addiction and the health consequences this has.


A search in PubMed, ScienceDirect, and EBSCOhost databases was conducted with the keywords "salt", "salt addiction", and "food addiction". Articles with information relative to the topic of interest were checked, as were references of those articles and historical and culturally complementary information.


We described the historical relationship between man and salt, the physiology of salty taste perception, its role in the reward system and the health consequences of a high sodium diet.


There is physiological and behavioural evidence that some people may develop a true addiction to food. Among these people, salt addiction seems to be of great importance in the development of obesity, HT and other diseases. Sodium is present in high quantities in processed food as salt and monosodium glutamate (MSG), used as flavour enhancers and food preservatives, including in non-salty foods like bread and soft drinks.

Palabras llave : Salt; salt addiction; food addiction.

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