Diets high in salt could deplete calcium in the body: research
The scientific community has always wanted to know why people who eat high-salt diets are prone to developing medical problems such as kidney stones and osteoporosis.
Medical researchers at the University of Alberta may have solved this puzzle through their work with animal lab models and cells.
Principal investigator Todd Alexander and his team recently discovered an important link between sodium and calcium. These both appear to be regulated by the same molecule in the body. When sodium intake becomes too high, the body gets rid of sodium via the urine, taking calcium with it, which depletes calcium stores in the body. High levels of calcium in the urine lead to the development of kidney stones, while inadequate levels of calcium in the body lead to thin bones and osteoporosis.
"When the body tries to get rid of sodium via the urine, our findings suggest the body also gets rid of calcium at the same time," says Alexander, a Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry researcher whose findings were recently published in the peer-reviewed journal American Journal of Physiology Renal Physiology.
"This is significant because we are eating more and more sodium in our diets, which means our bodies are getting rid of more and more calcium. Our findings reinforce why it is important to have a low-sodium diet and why it is important to have lower sodium levels in processed foods."
It's been known for a long time that this important molecule was responsible for sodium absorption in the body, but the discovery that it also plays a role in regulating calcium levels is new.
"We asked a simple question with our research could sodium and calcium absorption be linked? And we discovered they are," says Alexander.
"We found a molecule that seems to have two jobs regulating the levels of both calcium and sodium in the body. Our findings provide very real biological evidence that this relationship between sodium and calcium is real and linked."
In their research, the team worked with lab models that didn't have this important molecule, so the models' urine contained high levels of calcium. Because calcium was not absorbed and retained by the body, bones became thin.
A journal editorial written about this research discovery noted the molecule could be a drug target to one day "treat kidney stones and osteoporosis."
The primary funder of the research was the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
"We are proud to support the research of Dr. Todd Alexander," said Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. "Data in the United States shows that nearly 10% of adults will have a kidney stone at least once in their life. The prevalence of kidney stones also seems to be increasing in the U.S., which may be attributed to high rates of obesity and diabetes, along with possibly increased salt intake."
- Long-term calcium and vitamin D supplement use may be linked to increased risk of kidney stones Jun 26, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Kidney stone mystery solved Apr 18, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Calcium is spark of life, kiss of death for nerve cells Mar 01, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Diabetics on high-fiber diets might need extra calcium Mar 24, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Aurora A may contribute to kidney disease Jun 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
The individualisation of drug treatments to support patients to self-manage their conditions is a concept that sits at the heart of policy, but a recent study in BMJ Open shows that there is no concrete defini ...
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Fun in the summer often means kids spending time in the water, whether at a pool, the beach, a lake or river. A pediatric safety expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) stresses proper training ...
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new way of interpreting information from a low-tech, age-old method used in pregnancy care is expected to more accurately identify potential health issues for mothers and babies.
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
Artemio Martinez balanced his corpulent frame on a stool in a Mexico City street taco stand, downing a sweet soda and eating a final pork-filled corn tortilla.
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
People eating at fast food restaurants largely underestimate the calorie content of meals, especially large ones, according to a paper published today in BMJ.
Health 16 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Saudi Arabia said Friday it would send samples taken from animals possibly infected with a deadly SARS-like virus to the United States for testing in a bid to find the source of disease.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
New research presented today shows that formation of new neurons in the hippocampus - a brain region known for its importance in learning and remembering - could cause forgetting of old memories by causing a reorganization ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Ernie Pyle – an iconic war correspondent in World War II – reportedly said "There are no atheists in foxholes." A new joint study between two brothers at Cornell and Virginia Wesleyan found that only ...
1 hour ago | 3 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
17 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (7) | 0 |