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Sodium and hypertension: the mechanism that regulates health

Sodium and hypertension: the mechanism that regulates health

Health
The link between a diet that is too high in sodium and the onset of hypertension is now known. We now also know the mechanism that explains why.

The link between a diet that is too high in sodium and the onset of hypertension is now known. We now also know the mechanism that explains why.
The role of metabolites in sodium-sensitive hypertension
Scientists, during an experiment , examined hundreds of metabolic substances produced during digestion by analyzing blood samples from people with hypertension or high blood pressure.

During this experiment the group of subjects was divided in half: some followed a low-sodium diet, others were given slow-release sodium tablets for six weeks. At the end of this period the roles of the two groups were reversed.

Thanks to this study, the researchers found that reducing sodium doses increased the level of two specific metabolites, both associated with lower blood pressure and lower arterial stiffness.
The right amount of sodium
EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has recently revised the guidelines for the intake of sodium and chloride, the elements that make up table salt, reiterating the risk of onset of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in the face of quantity excessive. EFSA recommends:
  • 2 g of sodium per day per adult
  • 3.1 g of chloride per day per adult
For a total, therefore, of 5.1 grams of salt. Almost all of them exceed these limits: according to the Ministry of Health in Italy we consume between 8 and 10 grams per day.

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