It seems that avoiding salty foods does not guarantee that sodium levels in the body are with inacceptable levels. A new study from the Institute of Public and Preventive Health at Georgia Health Sciences University shows that 30 percent of subjects under stress retain sodium equivalent to one order of French fries or a small pack of potato chips.
Dr. Gregory Harshfield, the hypertension researcher who conducted the study, explained that such abody response can cause elevated blood pressure during the day and night, which may ultimately leadto cardiovascular diseases and other health problems.
The subjects who are blacks were found to hold on to about 160 milligrams of salt when under stress, which in turn raised their blood pressure by about 7 point from their normal diastolic count (the upper number in blood pressure readings). The hypertension lingers after ward for at least an hour. Worse, there searcher noted that when the subjects were under stress in the course of a day, the body hoards as much as 500 milligrams of sodium load which adds up into the amount usually consumed in a salt-richdiet which is around 3,700 milligrams.
There is obviously a big problem when there is a constant surplus of sodium in the bloodstream since the Institute of Medicine sets the maximum daily salt intake for normal people at 2,300 milligrams while the actual recommended intakse is 1,500 milligrams only.
What is even more alarming is the fact that some of the study subjects exhibited sodium retention evenduring sleep – a time normally reserved for the body to recuperate. The researchers saw that thesesubjects have low levels of angiotensin, a blood vessel constrictor that directs the kidneys to retain salt.Dr. Harshfield said even these subjects with low angiotensin would benefit from angiotensin receptorblockers and a low-salt diet.
The study was presented recently in the Behavioural Economics, Hypertension Session of thePsychogenic Cardiovascular Disease Conference in Prato, Italy.