In April 2019 researchers from France, Saudi Arabia, Mali, French Polynesia and Senegal published the results of their study to assess the ability of salt to alter the gut bacteria. It is already known that a high salt intake is linked to several diseases including obesity and an increased risk of premature death, but its ability to alter the gut bacteria is currently poorly researched. Fecal samples from 1,326 individuals were analyzed for salt content, with 572 samples being analysed for gut bacteria. Results showed that a high salt content in the faeces was associated with obesity independently of geographical origin, gender, and age. Further analyses linked high salt content in the faeces to decreased diversity of the gut bacteria and a depletion in Akkermansia muciniphila and Bifidobacterium, specifically B. longum and B. adolescentis.
Seck EH et al. Salt in stools is associated with obesity, gut halophilic microbiota and Akkermansia muciniphila depletion in humans. Int J Obes (Lond). 2019 Apr;43(4):862-871.