Thursday February 21, 2019

Experts: Regulating Salt Intake Key to Prevent Hypertension

Besides affecting the heart and fertility, hypertension can affect the skin too, the health experts said

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Experts: Regulating Salt Intake Key to Prevent Hypertension

Regulating salt consumption is key to prevent hypertension, which is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and heart failure, say experts.

Hypertension, also known as high or raised blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure.

To lower the risk of heart disease, adults should reduce sodium intake to less than 2 grams a day, or the equivalent of about one teaspoon of table salt, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Hypertension can lead to cardiovascular diseases. The rise in blood pressure caused by eating too much salt may damage the arteries leading to the heart,” Vijay D’Silva, Director at the Asian Heart Institute, said in statement.

According to a recent study, published in the journal Hypertension, about half of adults living in Asia are suffering from the high blood pressure.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

While lifestyle factors, including diet and stress, are behind the high hypertension rates in Asia, one common problem is high salt intake, the study showed.

Asians not only tend to have diets high in sodium, but they are genetically more sensitive to sodium, the researchers said.

“Raised blood pressure due to high salt consumption is the biggest single contributing risk factor for non-communicable diseases and damage to your kidney,” explained Bhupendra Gandhi of the NGO Amar Gandhi Foundation.

Previously, it was believed that eating high amounts of fruit and vegetables might help counteract the effect of high salt on blood pressure.

Also Read: Breastfeeding May Reduce Hypertension Risk

However, another study led by researchers from the Imperial College London and Northwestern University, showed that people eating higher amounts of salt had higher blood pressure — no matter how healthy a person’s overall diet.

Hypertension can also affect fertility in both males and females, says Rajalaxmi Walavalkar of Cocoon Fertility.

“Anyone with hypertension is at an increased risk of infertility. A high salt diet leading to high blood pressure can result in delayed puberty and even impact reproductive health,” Walavalkar noted.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

Besides affecting the heart and fertility, hypertension can affect the skin too, the health experts said.

“High blood pressure can harden your arteries, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen. An impairment of the flow of oxygen, to an organ such as your face, can cause your skin to dry and wrinkles faster which can make one look less youthful,” said Amit Karkhanis – Medical Cosmetologist and founder of Dr Tvacha clinic.

Hypertension is also known to cause trouble sleeping which leads to signs of premature ageing (fine lines, uneven pigmentation and reduced elasticity).

Reducing salt consumption in everyday life, including fried foods, processed foods, can not only curb the problem of hypertension but also save multiple organs from damage and pave way for a healthy life. (IANS)

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Deficiency of Zinc May up Hypertension

Understanding the specific mechanisms by which zinc deficiency contributes to blood pressure dysregulation may have an important effect on the treatment of hypertension in chronic disease settings, the team noted

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'3-in-1' hypertension pill offers better success: Study
'3-in-1' hypertension pill offers better success: Study. Flickr

Lower-than-normal levels of zinc — a nutrient that helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses — may contribute to hypertension, finds a new study on mice.

The study, from the Wright State University in the US, demonstrated that the way in which the kidneys either excrete sodium into the urine or reabsorb it into the body — specifically through a pathway called the sodium chloride cotransporter (NCC) — also plays a role in controlling high blood pressure.

Zinc deficiency is common in people with illnesses such as Type-2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

It also showed that less sodium in the urine typically corresponds with higher blood pressure.

Zinc may help regulate proteins that in turn regulate the NCC, the study suggested.

For the study, researchers compared male mice with zinc deficiency to healthy controls with normal zinc levels.

Representational image. Pixabay

The results, published in the American Journal of Physiology — Renal Physiology, showed that zinc-deficient mice developed high blood pressure and a corresponding decrease in urinary sodium excretion.

However, the control group did not experience the same changes.

A small group of the zinc-deficient mice were fed a zinc-rich diet partway. Once the animals’ zinc reached adequate levels, blood pressure began to drop and urinary sodium levels increased.

Also Read- Afghanistan Launches Polio Vaccination Campaign in High-risk Districts

“These significant findings demonstrate that enhanced renal (sodium) re-absorption plays a critical role in (zinc-deficiency)-induced hypertension,” said Clintoria R. Williams, a researcher from the varsity.

Understanding the specific mechanisms by which zinc deficiency contributes to blood pressure dysregulation may have an important effect on the treatment of hypertension in chronic disease settings, the team noted. (IANS)