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How Does Salt Affect Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure: Sodium May Not Be The Culprit

How Does Salt (Sodium) Raise Your Blood Pressure?

Salt has long been vilified as the harbinger of hypertension. However, as research into the condition has delved deeper, it is becoming clear that the story is more complex. The latest study in this arena goes some way toward absolving sodium.

Following a raft of large-scale studies showing that a high salt intake Dietary Guidelines for Americans set the recommended sodium intake at 2,300 milligrams per day.

However, a new batch of studies are bringing this guideline into question, and researchers are now asking whether the relationship between hypertension and salt is so clear cut.

The latest research to probe sodiums role in hypertension is presented today at the Experimental Biology 2017 meeting, taking place in Chicago, IL.

Researcher Lynn L. Moore, an associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts, completed the study with her team.

Salt May Be Bad For More Than Your Blood Pressure

Study found damage to organs and tissues, even with no sign of hypertension

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 — Even if you don’t develop high blood pressure from eating too much salt, you may still be damaging your blood vessels, heart, kidneys and brain, a new study warns.

Researchers reviewed available evidence and found that high levels of salt consumption have harmful effects on a number of organs and tissues, even in people who are “salt-resistant,” which means their salt intake does not affect their blood pressure.

High salt consumption levels can lead to reduced function of the endothelium, which is the inner lining of blood vessels. Endothelial cells are involved in a number of processes, including blood clotting and immune function. High salt levels can also increase artery stiffness, the researchers said.

“High dietary sodium can also lead to left ventricular hypertrophy, or enlargement of the muscle tissue that makes up the wall of the heart’s main pumping chamber,” said study co-author David Edwards. He is an associate professor in kinesiology and applied physiology at the University of Delaware.

“As the walls of the chamber grow thicker, they become less compliant and eventually are unable to pump as forcefully as a healthy heart,” he explained in a university news release.

“Again, even if blood pressure isn’t increased, chronically increased sympathetic outflow may have harmful effects on target organs,” he said in the release.

Himalayan Sea Salt Benefits

In addition to its lower sodium content, you may have heard buzz that Himalayan sea salt has lots of additional health benefits as well. The internet is filled with claims that Himalayan sea salt can do things such as balance the body’s pH levels, regulate blood sugar, improve sleep and more.

However, Sollid takes issue with these lofty promises. “Claims across the internet do not always align with established evidence from decades of published scientific literature. There is no research to support the claim that Himalayan salt is more beneficial to health than table salt,” he says.

All told, Himalayan sea salt doesn’t have any magical properties for lowering blood pressure. “If you have hypertension, the amount of sodium you consume is more important than what part of the world it comes from,” Sollid says. The AHA recommends consuming less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, with an ideal limit of 1,500 milligrams per day for those with hypertension.

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A Taste Of Physiology

Make no mistake about it: salt is essential for human health. The average adult’s body contains 250 grams of sodium less than 9 ounces, or about the amount in three or four saltshakers. Distributed throughout the body, salt is especially plentiful in body fluids ranging from blood, sweat, and tears to semen and urine.

Sodium is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, always bringing water along with it. It is the major mineral in plasma, the fluid component of blood, and in the fluids that bathe the body’s cells. Without enough sodium, all these fluids would lose their water, causing dehydration, low blood pressure, and death.

Fortunately, it only takes a tiny amount of sodium to prevent this doomsday scenario; in fact, some isolated population groups manage perfectly well on just 200 mg a day. About one-quarter of the tongue’s taste buds are devoted to recognizing salt; like other animals, humans can and do seek out salt when they need it. And when dietary salt is in short supply, the body can conserve nearly all its sodium, dramatically reducing the amount excreted in urine and shed in sweat. Remember that water always follows sodium, and you’ll understand why your skin is dry and your urine scant and concentrated when you are dehydrated and conserving sodium.

Sodium And Blood Pressure

How to Control Your Blood Pressure: The Truth About Salt ...

How much salt is too much salt? AHA recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt per day. “This is one leveled teaspoon of salt, and the average American diet contains 2.5 times more salt,” Dr. Bakris says. “That’s a lot of salt being eaten.”

Most of this salt comes from processed and packaged foods, not the salt shaker.

“One Chinese-style meal has a tremendous amount of salt 4,000 to 8,000 mg, depending on what you order and if you are salt sensitive, your blood pressure may increase by as much as 40 points within a few hours,” he says.

All that sodium in your bloodstream attracts more water into your blood vessels, which raises your blood volume. That is what causes your blood pressure to go up. It’s similar to the way pressure increases in a garden hose if you turn up the spigot, the AHA notes.

“Your kidney has to get rid of that salt, and it takes your kidney 24 to 48 hours to recalibrate,” Dr. Bakris says. “You may find yourself getting up at night to pee often because your blood pressure is elevated from salt and your kidney is trying to lower it by peeing it out.”

Read more:Signs and Symptoms of Too Much Salt in the Diet

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Lifestyle Changes Can Help

One of the first things your doctor will recommend is modifying your lifestyle by:

  • Eating a;low-sodium diet , especially if youre at risk.
  • Limiting;alcohol.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.

Even with salt restriction and lifestyle changes, blood pressure may remain elevated, Dr. Laffin notes. Medications, in addition to lifestyle changes, are oftentimes also needed to lower your blood pressure. Examples of medications include:

  • Diuretics, or water pills, which increase urination to help discharge excess fluid.
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers , which help to relax blood vessels.

Besides encouraging you to keep hypertension and diabetes under control, your doctor may test you annually for kidney disease.

Working with your doctor to ensure that salt intake is not raising your blood pressure and impacting your heart and kidneys can have a dramatic impact on your health and longevity.

Myth : Pink/black/rock/sea/himalayan Salt Is Better For You Than Other Types Of Salt

You might have seen some varieties of salt advertised as having extra health benefits that regular table salt doesnt, like containing minerals that are good for your body. Consumer advocacy group CHOICE say that Australians should be wary of these kinds of health claims, as the minerals found in salts like Himalayan Sea Salt are often present only in very small amounts.

Himalayan salt, sea salt, rock salt, black salt, pink salt, unicorn salt in the end, its all still salt. Upping your salt intake to try and get the benefits of an advertised mineral might lead you to consume far too much salt, putting yourself at risk of disease.

If youre looking for a great way to get healthy minerals and other nutrients in your diet, fruits and veggies are a great source of these. Head on over to the Healthier. Happier. Colour Wheel to find out what nutrients are in your favourite fruit and veggies.

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What Are The Implications Of These Findings

  • When added to the evidence base from longitudinal and interventional studies, these results support lowering sodium intake as part of a healthy dietary pattern, as recommended in the Dietary Guidelines.
  • The findings also support higher consumption of potassium-containing foods and following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension External diet or a similar diet to help lower blood pressure.

Ncx1 And Trpc Protein Upregulation In Arterial Myocytes

How does SALT raise Blood Pressure?

Arterial smooth muscle NCX1, and TRPC6 and/or TRPC3 , proteins are upregulated in ouabain-hypertensive rats and in a number of other rodent hypertension models and in pulmonary artery myocytes in human primary pulmonary hypertension . This protein upregulation is a clue to the origin of the augmented arterial responsiveness in hypertension . One functional consequence of NCX1 and TRPC6 upregulation is the enhanced Ca2+ signaling in freshly isolated arterial myocytes from hypertension models including ouabain hypertension . The fact that several other models listed in , including DOCA-salt, Dahl S, and Milan hypertensive rats, have elevated plasma EO levels fits the view that this protein upregulation is triggered by EO. These observations contradict the statement that functional changes in the vasculature have not been found .

Table 1. Expression of NCX1 and some TRPC protein components of ROCs is increased in several hypertensive animal models and in human primary pulmonary hypertension

Artery Smooth Muscle

*Hypertension associated with elevated plasma ouabain levels. TRPC, transient receptor potential cation channel; ROCs, receptor-operated channels; NT, normotensive control; SHR, spontaneously hypertensive rat; WKY, Wistar-Kyoto normotensive control for SHR; NCX1SMTg/Tg, smooth muscle-specific Na+/Ca2+ exchanger-1 knockout mouse ; ND, not determined.

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Myth : You Can Tell That A Food Is Salty By Tasting It

Some foods with a high salt content wont taste very salty at all. Many packaged foods that contain a lot of salt have other ingredients that balance out the salty flavour, so that the salt is effectively hidden in the food.

You can visit the Heart Foundation and VicHealths website Unpack The Salt to find out more about reducing hidden salts in your diet.

Does Circulating Eo Help Maintain Normal Bp

When circulating EO was reduced by 50% by infusion of normal rats with anti-ouabain antibodies, mean BP was not affected, although the adrenal cortex hypertrophied, presumably to help increase EO production . Severe hypotension may occur in adrenocortical insufficiency because of the loss of aldosterone and cortisol, but perhaps also in part because of the lack of adrenal EO production and very low plasma EO levels . Also, as already noted, the EO level rises in normal human subjects when a diuretic is administered to deplete body Na+ ; this response suggests that EO may help prevent a drop in BP in this case. Finally, BP normally declines modestly during the first two trimesters of pregnancy in normal women and rodent dams and then rises to or slightly above the prepregnancy level during the third trimester. In pregnant 2R/R mice, however, the third trimester rise in BP is significantly attenuated . This implies that the 2 Na+ pump high-affinity ouabain binding site and its ligand EO play a role in helping to maintain normal physiological BP in pregnancy.

Recommended Reading: Va Disability Rating For Hypertension

Is Sodium Really That Bad Ive Seen Research That Questions The Connection Between Sodium And Health Problems

The science behind sodium reduction is clear. Significant evidence links excess sodium intake with high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

While some newer research questions the link between sodium and health problems, the connection is well-established. The newer research adds to a larger discussion that has evolved over the last few years about salt intake but does not replace the existing evidence.

Who Is Most At Risk Of High Blood Pressure

Does salt really affect blood pressure?

Anyone is at risk of a high blood pressure, as blood pressure starts to increase from childhood. People with a high salt diet, pregnant women and people of black African descent are particularly susceptible to high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is an important risk factor for a range of conditions. These include strokes, vascular dementia, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and mobility problems. People who already have these conditions may find a reduced salt diet beneficial in the long run.

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Does Ouabain/eo Also Promote Arterial Structural Remodeling

The structural remodeling of arteries in salt-sensitive hypertension must also be initiated by functional alterations linked to the salt, but the mechanisms are unresolved. One possibility is that the elevation of BP and resultant increase in arterial wall tension, induced by the mechanisms described in the preceding sections, directly triggers the arterial remodeling that produces wall thickening and lumen narrowing. Vascular wall remodeling has also been attributed to ANG II-triggered inflammation, oxidative stress, and the generation of reactive oxygen species , although the renin-angiotensin system should be suppressed in salt-dependent hypertension. Ouabain, per se, can promote cell growth and proliferation , perhaps in part as a consequence of elevated cell and/or . Moreover, as already noted, ouabain can activate protein kinase signaling cascades . All of these mechanisms might directly contribute to the wall remodeling. Alternatively, or in addition, the enhanced sympathetic drive and/or augmented Ca2+ signaling in the arterial myocytes, described above, might cause oxidative stress and thereby induce arterial wall remodeling. If the remodeling and other target organ damage in salt-dependent hypertension are consequences of EO action, it should be possible to antagonize or prevent these effects by selectively blocking the action of EO with agents such as rostafuroxin .

How Does Salt Affect Blood Pressure

  • Research shows a strong relationship between the amount of salt consumed and raised levels of blood pressure.1
  • When salt intake is reduced, blood pressure begins falling within weeks in most people.3
  • In countries where people consume diets low in salt, people do not experience the increase in blood pressure with age that is seen in most Western countries.1
  • Reducing sodium intake lowers blood pressure, with greater effects among people with hypertension.4*

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How Nacl Raises Blood Pressure: A New Paradigm For The Pathogenesis Of Salt

Departments of Physiology and

Medicine, and

the Center for Heart, Hypertension and Kidney Disease, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; and

Address for reprint requests and other correspondence: M. P. Blaustein, Dept. of Physiology, Univ. of Maryland School of Medicine, 655 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD, 21201 .

the Hypertension Unit, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Medicine, and

the Center for Heart, Hypertension and Kidney Disease, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; and

Departments of Physiology and

the Center for Heart, Hypertension and Kidney Disease, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; and

Departments of Physiology and

the Center for Heart, Hypertension and Kidney Disease, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; and

Medicine, and

the Center for Heart, Hypertension and Kidney Disease, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; and

Departments of Physiology and

the Center for Heart, Hypertension and Kidney Disease, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; and

Departments of Physiology and

the Center for Heart, Hypertension and Kidney Disease, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; and

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  • Reducing Sodium And Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Burden

    Salt Increases Blood Presssure – But How?
    • Lowering high blood pressure reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.13 Adults with elevated and high blood pressure especially benefit from lowering their blood pressure.6
    • If manufacturers gradually reduced the amount of sodium in processed and prepared foods, public consumption of sodium could be reduced to safer levels with little or no change in behavior on the part of the individual consumer.14
    • Sodium intake from processed and restaurant foods contributes to high rates of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Because nearly 500,000 deaths each year are related to high blood pressure, reducing sodium intake could prevent thousands of deaths annually.15
    • Reducing average population sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day may save $18 billion in health care dollars and reduce cases of high blood pressure by 11 million annually.16
    • Sodium reduction continues to be an effective and safe strategy to lower blood pressure.3,11,17,18
    • Lowering blood pressure reduces and prevents heart attacks and stroke.19

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    Select Foods With Less Hidden Salt

    While reducing the salt you add at the table and when cooking or preparing meals, you should also focus on selecting foods that contain less hidden salt because this accounts for around 75% of all salt in most peoples diet.;

    When shopping:

    • Choose reduced salt bread and breakfast cereals bread is a major source of sodium in the diet.;
    • Buy fresh vegetables or select lower sodium canned varieties.
    • Read food labels.
    • Choose products with low salt or salt-free versions of commonly used foods .
    • Choose unprocessed fresh wholefoods.
    • Reduce packaged and processed snack purchases.

    Is Salt Bad For You

    Our body does need small amounts of salt, however the salt naturally occurring in foods is sufficient to meet needs. Our body does not need the salt added in food manufacture, nor the salt added during cooking or at the table.;Evidence shows that eating too much salt can raise blood pressure, a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke which are the two largest causes of death in New Zealand.;

    • The World Health Organization estimates that high blood pressure is responsible for 17% of all deaths in high-income countries .
    • One in seven New Zealanders report taking medication for high blood pressure.
    • At a population level, reducing sodium intake reduces both blood pressure and risk of heart disease.
    • It has been estimated that reducing average sodium intake by 20% would save 930 lives in New Zealand each year ;
    • New Zealanders currently eat around 9 grams of salt a day; our body needs less than 1 gram to survive. To reduce risk of chronic disease it is recommended to eat no more than 4g salt a day .

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