Monday, 25 July 2011

Hypertension, sodium and activity. Any relation?

So, something just struck me. No... nothing physically hit me :-) I just heard something about blood pressure that linked a bunch of information into one. I'm not sure if this is a new insight so I'm logging it here for future reference.

The first thing was reading that increased potassium in the diet is associated with a lowering in blood pressure. I've probably heard this many time before but not really thought about it. What struck me is the link between potassium and sodium. They are fundamentally involved in propagating nerve impulses. So it struck me that an imbalance in sodium and potassium could have an effect on nervous action throughout the body.

Combine that with marc peletiers insight that High blood pressure is fundamentally a problem with regulation of sodium. He has found structures in the brain that filter sodium much like the kidney does. It's these structures that have a huge impact in high blood pressure.

It's becoming clearer over time that diabetes in a problem with regulating blood sugar and that exercise helps by helping us deal better with sugar. So naturally I'm wondering if exercise has the same effect on helping us regulate sodium and potassium better. Mainly because exercise puts specific pressures on the body. forcing adaptations which make it able to handle the strains applied by daily life. Hence exercise forces the body to keep sugar and possibly sodium levels in check.

Just a thought.
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