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C. Controlling Salt Intake Benefits More than Blood Pressure

Narrator: This is Science Today. Eating a high-salt diet is not healthy to begin with, but if you need even more reason to put down that bag of salty chips - a new study suggests too much sodium may be bad for your bones. Dr. Deborah Sellmeyer, director of the University of California, San Francisco Osteoporosis Center, says that's because high salt intake causes an increase in urinary calcium secretion.

Sellmeyer: 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: While Sellmeyer's research also indicates that an increase of potassium in the diet may offset that risk, she says the best thing to do is lose your taste for salt by gradually cutting back.

Sellmeyer: You'll be surprised that some of the foods that you used to 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.