Hing Salt intake during pregnancy may alter heart structure of offspring

CreateTime:2012-03-27 Count:998

The new study – published in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases – suggests that persistent high maternal intake of salt during pregnancy leads to alterations in the structure of the left ventricular of the heart. “In the present study, we confirmed the effects of a high-salt diet on cardiac development of male offspring as demonstrated by an increased cardiac mass at birth,” said the researchers, led by Dr Joel Heimann of the University of São Paulo School of Medicine, Brazil.


The research team fed rats either low (0.15%), normal (1.3%) or high-salt (8%) diet during pregnancy. To evaluate how this affected response to salt overload in later life half of each offspring group was fed a high-salt (4%) diet from the 21st to the 36th week of age, whilst the remaining 50% maintained a no-salt diet.

The researchers then measured the heart structure and blood pressure of the offspring, finding that the hearts of offspring consuming a high salt diet had higher relative heart sizes and thicker linings of certain areas of the heart – including the interventricular septum and the left ventricular posterior wall. “In spite of these findings, adult male offspring did not evidence any sign of cardiac hypertrophy when maintained on a normal-salt diet,” said the researchers.


Salt reduction
Sodium is a vital nutrient and is necessary for the body to function. However the average daily salt consumption in the western world (between 10 and 12 grams) vastly exceeds maximum recommendations from WHO/FAO of 5 grams per day.
Such high intakes of dietary sodium have been linked to negative health impacts, including the development of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and other health problems.And with 80% of salt intake coming from processed foods, many countries have initiated salt reduction program, with many holding up theUK’s Food Standards Agency for national initiatives.
Resources: Bor S. Luh Food Safety Research Center

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