The Australian government has launched an inquiry into the possible health risks associated with pink salt, after a study suggested it might reduce the number of people contracting coronaviruses.
Key points:Pink salt is used in traditional cooking as well as in some of Australia’s most popular restaurantsThe government said it would consult with experts before deciding how to use itMore than 5,000 people contracted coronaviral disease in Australia in the past year, according to figures released by the Health Department.
But the new study by the University of Queensland found that the number who contracted coronas was significantly lower in Queensland than in other states.
The results were published on Tuesday in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Professor David Molloy from the University’s School of Public Health and Health Services said the study showed there was “no clear evidence” pink salt was safe for use in Australia.
“This is the first time we have looked at pink salt in terms of its potential impact on coronavirotic disease,” he said.
“There’s a lot of evidence that pink salt has some negative effects on coronivirus, so it’s not surprising that there’s a bit of concern.”
Pink salts are usually used in the traditional cooking of rice, beans, lentils, potatoes and other grains, but they are also used in some restaurants.
Professor Mollory said it was unlikely the pink salt would affect those who were already susceptible to coronavid, but there was no clear evidence it was safe to use in most settings.
“The main question is, do we need to use this pink salt?
And we need a lot more research into that,” he told the ABC.”
I think that the government will do the best it can with what we know at this stage, and we will then take a decision on what to do next.”
Professor Mollson said the findings suggested pink salt might be an appropriate treatment for people with moderate or severe coronavirence, but that it might not be as effective as other treatments.
“It’s important to remember that pink is an acid and it doesn’t have any other health benefits, so if you have a low pH it might be a good idea to use less pink salt,” he added.
The Australian Public Health Association (APHA) has urged consumers to use a variety of other products and not use pink salt.
“Reducing the risk to the public is an important first step towards preventing the spread of coronacosis,” APHA spokesperson Sarah Pugh said.ABC/wires