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E. High Cholesterol and Too Much Salt May Contribute to Osteoporosis

Narrator: This is Science Today. UCLA researchers have found that unhealthy eating habits and high cholesterol may contribute to osteoporosis, a disease that causes more than one million fractures each year. In a similar study, Dr. Deborah Sellmeyer of the University of California, San Francisco, found a link between a high dietary intake of animal protein and fracture risk. Both studies suggest healthier eating habits will lead to healthier bones and Sellmeyer says that includes watching your sodium intake.

Sellmeyer: Salt and calcium excretion in the urine are linked. So the more salt you eat, the more salt goes out in your urine, but it takes calcium with it. And there's some very early evidence that this may affect bones. So we want to encourage everybody to start thinking about how much salt is in their diet.

Narrator: Sellmeyer says if you gradually start cutting back on salt, you'll lose your taste for it in a matter of weeks.

Sellmeyer: You'll be surprised that some of the foods that you think were so delicious now will taste very salty to you. So we encourage people to use herbs and spices and all that kind of stuff and try to just gradually cut back on the salt a little bit.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.