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Salt Storage Leads to High Blood Pressure

Posted May 05 2009 4:35pm

A new study in the journal Nature Medicine claims consuming too much sodium leads to an increased accumulation of salt in the interstitium of the skin, i.e. the area between cells. This process is regulated in our bodies by special white blood cells known as macrophages and within these macrophages scientists found a gene regulator called TonEBP. TonEBP turns on another gene that controls the production of lymphatic blood vessels. In the study, experts observed a high-salt diet causes lymphatic vessels to increase, leading to hypertension in animals; via EurekAlert!

In March, research showed consuming salt decreases levels of an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase (NOS), which signals nearby muscles to relax, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure. This is similar to another study that showed switching to a low-salt diet helps blood vessels relax.

In related news, a previous report determined regardless of genetics or gender, people who excreted more salt had higher blood pressure.

Image credit: fortinbras

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