diabetes research




‘Eat less salt’ is a mantra of our health-

conscious times and is seen as an

important step in reducing heart disease

and hypertension. Too much salt in the

diet - and specifically sodium - is widely

acknowledged as a major risk factor for

high blood pressure, however scientists

have found that salt’s other constituent,

chloride, might also play an important

role. The role of chloride in hypertension

has received little attention from scientists

to date.

After analysing data from almost

13,000 patients with high blood

pressure, followed up over 35 years,

the researchers found that low levels of

chloride was associated with a higher risk

of death and cardiovascular disease. The

group with the lowest level of chloride in

their blood had a 20% higher mortality

rate compared to the other subjects.

The results are published in the journal


Dr Sandosh Padmanabhan of the

Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical

JDRF, the world’s largest non-profit supporter of type 1 Sciences, says, “Sodium is cast as

diabetes (T1D) research, and technology development the villain for the central role it plays in

company Pure Tech have launched T1D Innovations increasing the risk of high blood pressure,

which is designed to accelerate the development of with chloride little more than a silent extra

innovative T1D therapies. in the background. However, our study

It aims to bring together interested companies, disease foundations, and investors has put the spotlight on this under-

to create and fund high-impact companies developing innovative T1D-related studied chemical to reveal an association

therapies. It should enable them to cross the biomedical ‘valley of death’ – the gap that between low levels of chloride serum in

often prevents promising biomedical discoveries from being translated into patient- the blood and a higher mortality rate, and

saving products. In addition to JDRF’s leadership role in this initiative, special partners surprisingly this is in the opposite direction

Joslin Diabetes Center and T1D Exchange will bring scientific, clinical, and patient to the risks associated with high sodium.

engagement capabilities to the collaboration. It is likely that chloride plays an important

At a time when basic biomedical innovation is flourishing but translational funding part in the physiology of the body and

is scarce, JDRF and PureTech believe collaborative translational and entrepreneurial we need to investigate this further. It is

efforts such as this will be critical to bolstering the T1D product pipeline and accelerating too early to draw any conclusions about

the development of groundbreaking products for individuals with T1D. relating this finding to salt intake and

T1D Innovations will enable and accelerate the development and progress of diet. We need more research to establish

opportunities aligned with JDRF’s research priorities, placing an emphasis on therapies exactly what the relationship between

that help restore or maintain glycemic control or have the potential of restoring normal chloride and health risk is.”

physiology for people living with or at risk for developing T1D.


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