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Lakartidningen. 2002 Nov 21;99(47):4736-40.

[Salt, renal function and high blood pressure--reflections on a current issue].

[Article in Swedish]

Author information

  • 1Göteborgs universitet.


The role of salt intake for blood pressure control has been discussed for a long time. A brief review is given of some pertinent physiological facts to explain this relationship and evolutionary aspects of renal function are emphasized. Salt intake is very high in the modern society, often as high as 15 g sodium chloride per 24 hours while 3-6 g may be more than enough to maintain an adequate salt balance. If the kidneys cannot cope with this severe sodium overload, blood pressure will rise. Therefore, the kidneys' ability to excrete sodium is a key factor and the salt excretion capacity is the kidneys' major barostatic function. As barostats, the kidneys control the blood pressure by ultimately determining the sodium excretion. Reducing sodium intake is, however, difficult as more than 50% of the intake is contained in the food we buy such as bread, sausages, canned food, chips and fast-food. Food products should therefore be "salt declared", but information on this aspect is generally lacking. If the population's salt intake could be reduced by 50%, the prevalence of hypertension will be much reduced, perhaps also by as much as 50%. The cost to society for treating hypertension would be reduced accordingly. Salt intake is also an important aspect of the overweight problem among today's youth. Salt and overweight impose great health risks later in life. Preventive measures in this area must be given high priority in future health care work.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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