Salt does cause high blood pressure but it’s only a problem if you are salt sensitive
Salt causes high blood pressure – which
ultimately puts you at risk of cardiovascular disease. So we’re often told better body
chemistry begins with a low salt diet, but this is not the whole story. Sodium does cause
the blood pressure to rise but mother nature is quite capable of “handling” this rise.
A sophisticated regulatory system gets rid of the extra salt and returns blood pressure
to normal. The star player in salt regulation is a hormone called aldosterone. In this episode
of BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY TV, we learn the basics of the salt biology and why most people,
don’t have to worry about salt consumption. Better Body Chemistry TV is brought to you
by Dr Sandy – a scientist turned gremlin buster, HELPING YOU, battle sugar gremlins, heffa-lumps
& other health horribles, through BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY. Remember, small things can make
a big difference to your health. When you eat a salty meal, the sodium is absorbed into
the blood stream making your blood a little more salty and this does have consequences.
Cast your mind back to high school biology, one of the first concepts they teach you is
osmosis. Let me paraphrase the definition ……….water moves from a “high concentration”
to a “low concentration” until the “water concentration” is balanced. So if there
is a lot of sodium in the blood, the water concentration has dropped, water will be moving
into the blood from the cells to restore the balance. Oh dear ! This causes blood pressure
to rise. Now in most people, the problem is really just temporary because the body carefully
regulates the amount of salt. The reason, sodium is a precious commodity. The “electricity”
in your body relies on sodium ions moving in and out of cells. Both your nervous system
and your heart depend on bioelectricity to function. Aldosterone is the chemical tasked
with regulating the amount of salt kept by the body so that adequate bioelectricity can
be generated. When there is a shortage of salt, aldosterone has to work hard at keeping
the sodium inside your body. It does this by closing the “sodium valves” in the
kidney. The extra sodium means that aldosterone can now take a break from controlling the
“sodium valves”. And as it takes a break, the sodium can slip out of the open valves.
Because the extra salt has been excreted, water concentration in the blood is now high,
so osmosis happens and water moves water out of the blood vessels, so the volume of blood
decreases and the pressure in the pipes returns to normal. Now, in some people this regulatory
process is “defective” , it is these people, who suffer from salt sensitive hypertension.
Everyone else is salt resistant. So why does it happen ? It is NOT a fat thing. You can
be salt sensitive or salt resistant at any weight. Genes definitely matter. There is
also some evidence to suggest, salt exposure or lack there of, during development might
also contribute to salt sensitivity. So how do you know if you’re salt sensitive ? Unfortunately
there is no inexpensive or easy strategy to identify salt sensitive patients.It boils
down to trial & error – you change the amount of salt in your diet and see what happens.
If you are salt sensitive, you can expect to see a big difference of 15 or more mmHg.
If you are salt resistant, the difference will be neglibile. Is it worth knowing ? Well,
if you’ve got high blood pressure – definitely, it gives you a heads up, that you need to
watch your salt intake. But, even if you are salt sensitive, YOU STILL NEED SALT. You need
sodium. If you don’t consume enough, your body makes a plan ! And the plan, includes
increased insulin resistance. Which in and of itself is NOT a disease, but it isn’t
the recipe for BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY. Interested in discovering more ways to create BETTER
BODY CHEMISTRY, so you optimize your health and the health of your family ? Visit our
website WWW BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY dot COM and browse our library or enrol in one of
our courses or programmes. The advice is simple to follow and based on real science, not hype.
Know someone who is struggling with high blood pressure. Share this video with them – so
they know whether the amount of salt they consume is something that needs to be on their
radar. And if you enjoyed the video, be sure to subscribe to our channel, so you catch
future episodes of BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY TV. Thank you so much for watching and I will
see you next time. Remember small things can make a big difference to your health.