Navigation Links
Boston University School of Medicine researchers clarify link between salt and hypertension

(Boston) A review article by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) debunks the widely-believed concept that hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the result of excess salt causing an increased blood volume, exerting extra pressure on the arteries. Published online in the Journal of Hypertension, the study demonstrates that excess salt stimulates the sympathetic nervous system to produce adrenalin, causing artery constriction and hypertension.

The research was led by Irene Gavras, MD, and Haralambos Gavras, MD, both professors of medicine at BUSM.

"The purpose of this paper is to correct an erroneous concept that has prevailed for many years, even though scientific evidence has mounted against it," said Irene Gavras, who is also a physician in Boston Medical Center's Hypertension practice.

The term "volume-expanded hypertension" implies that excess salt leads to the retention of extra fluid within the arterial circulatory system, causing an increase in blood volume and added pressure on the arterial walls. However, research has shown that conditions characterized by the expansion of blood volume from other causes, such as the secretion of antidiuretic hormone or the excessive elevation of blood sugar, do not cause a rise in blood pressure because the extra fluid is accommodated by the distention of capillaries and veins.

"The body's circulatory system is a highly flexible vascular system with the capacity to open up new capillaries and distend veins in order to accommodate increased fluid volume," said Irene Gavras.

Through a review of numerous studies, the researchers demonstrated that the mechanism of hypertension resulting from the excessive consumption and retention of salt stimulates the sympathetic nervous system in the brain to increase adrenaline production. The increased adrenalin being circulated throughout the body causes the arteries to constrict, which results in resistance to blood flow and a decrease in circulatory volume.

The over-activation of the sympathetic nervous system part of the autonomic nervous system that helps maintain the body's homeostasis has been recognized clinically as a characteristic of hypertension that accompanies renal failure, which is the most typical example of elevated blood pressure from excessive salt retention. Diuretics, which remove excess salt, are widely used to treat this type of hypertension. However, this study provides convincing evidence that the sympathetic nervous system should be the focus of further investigations into treatments for hypertension.

"The implication of our findings shows that the optimal treatment for hypertension, for cases associated with renal failure, should not only include diuretics but also the use of drugs that block the central sympathetic nervous system," said Irene Gavras.


Contact: Jenny Eriksen Leary
Boston University Medical Center

Related biology news :

1. Boston University School of Medicine professor honored by American College of Nutrition
2. Register now! Boston meeting will showcase latest aging discoveries
3. NIH training grant awarded to Boston University School of Medicine and College of Engineering
4. Join GSA in Boston for the nations premier aging conference
5. BU researchers identify extensive methane leaks under streets of Boston
6. Boston Medical Center receives support from CVS Caremark Charitable Trust
7. Boston Medical Center to receive $245,000 grant from Attorney General Martha Coakley
8. Boston Medical Center receives grant from Astrazeneca to end diabetes
9. Aetna Foundation funding Boston University obesity research
10. Boston Medical Centers CARE Unit receives additional NIH funding
11. Boston University School of Medicine researchers receive NIMH brain awards
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during ... diseases is the primary factor for the growth of ... report: MARKET INSIGHTS The global ... product, technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- Trends, opportunities and forecast in this market to ... AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, vein recognition, ... industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and retail, health ... and by region ( North America , ... , and the Rest of the World) ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric Vehicle Access System Market ... the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 million by 2025. ... for all the given segments on global as well as regional ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first commercially available Hi-C kit. Researchers ... perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own facilities, supplementing the company’s full-service ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The HealthTech Venture Network (HTVN) is proud ... annual Conference where founders, investors, innovative practitioners and collaborators are invited to a ... early stage digital health and med tech companies. , This day-long event will ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ... 05, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider of educational and ... giving back to cancer research with a month-long promotion supporting the advancement of breast ... shoppers can use promo code PinkRibbon to get 10 percent off their purchase of ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... , ... October 05, 2017 , ... ... develop new applications of its Nanobind DNA/RNA extraction technology . Nanobind is ... silica on the surface and that can be used for a wide variety ...
Breaking Biology Technology: