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Curr Hypertens Rep. 2009 Apr;11(2):91-7.

Effect of excessive salt intake: role of plasma sodium.

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  • 1Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik D, Albert-Schweitzer Strasse 33, 48149 Münster, Germany.


Sodium chloride is a normal and necessary constituent of food and the main cause for the rise in arterial pressure that occurs with age. Changes in dietary salt intake can cause changes in plasma sodium. Even a small increase has been shown to be harmful, for example, by increasing left ventricular mass, thickening and narrowing resistance arteries, and stiffening endothelial cells. Therefore, it is possible that an increase in plasma sodium is an important pressor mechanism. This review discusses the role of dietary sodium and plasma sodium, with a special focus on their impact on the endothelial cell.

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