Acute effects of salt on blood pressure are mediated by serum osmolality

Kanbay M., Aslan G., AFŞAR B., Dagel T., SİRİOPOL D., KUWABARA M., ...More

JOURNAL OF CLINICAL HYPERTENSION, vol.20, no.10, pp.1447-1454, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/jch.13374
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1447-1454
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


It is classically thought that it is the amount of salt that is critical for driving acute blood pressure responses. However, recent studies suggest that blood pressure responses, at least acutely, may relate to changes in serum osmolality. Here, we test the hypothesis that acute blood pressure responses to salt can be altered by concomitant water loading. Ten healthy patients free of any disease and medication underwent 4 interventions each a week apart in which they took 300 mL of lentil soup with no salt (visit 1), lentil soup with 3 g salt (visit 2), or lentil soup with 3 g salt and 500 mL water (visit 3) or 750 mL water (visit 4). At each visit, hourly blood measurements and blood pressure measurements (baseline, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th hour) were performed and plasma osmolarity, sodium and copeptin levels were measured. Patients receiving the 3 g salt showed a 6 mOsm/L change in osmolality with a 2.5 mmol/L change in plasma sodium and 10 mm Hg rise in systolic blood pressure at 2 hours. When the same patients drank salty soup with water, the changes in plasma osmolarity, plasma sodium, and blood pressure were prevented. The ability to raise blood pressure acutely with salt appears dependent on changes in plasma osmolality rather than the amount of salt. Our findings suggest that concurrent intake of water must be considered when evaluating the role of salt in blood pressure.