Salts and energy balance: A special role for dietary salts in metabolic syndrome

Clinical Nutrition


Dietary salts sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), magnesium (Mg2+), and calcium (Ca2+) are important in metabolic diseases. Yet, we do not have sufficient understanding on the salts global molecular network in these diseases. In this systematic review we have pooled information to identify the general effect of salts on obesity, insulin resistance and hypertension.


To assess the roles of salts in metabolic disorders by focusing on their individual effect and the network effect among these salts.


We searched articles in PubMed, EMBASE and Google Scholar. We selected original laboratory research, systematic reviews, clinical trials, observational studies and epidemiological data that focused on dietary salts and followed the preferred reporting items for systematic review in designing the present systematic review.


From the initial search of 2898 studies we selected a total of 199 articles that met our inclusion criteria and data extraction. Alterations in metabolic pathways associated with the sensitivity of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium may lead to obesity, hypertension, and insulin resistance. We found that the results of most laboratory research, animal studies and clinical trials are coherent but some research outcomes are either inconsistent or inconclusive.


Important of salts in metabolic disorder is evident. In order to assess the effects of dietary salts in metablic diseases, environmental factors, dietary habits, physical activity, and the microbiome, should be considered in any study. Although interest in this area of research continues to grow, the challenge is to integrate the action of these salts in metabolic syndrome.

Bilal Shaikh
Bilal Shaikh
Biomedical Software Developer

Working on developing tools to enable large scale models of biology