Salt and Hypertension: An Evolutionary PerspectiveVecihi Batuman*
Tulane University School of Medicine, Section of Nephrology and Hypertension-SL45, 1430 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Vecihi Batuman, MD
Tulane University School of Medicine
Section of Nephrology and Hypertension-SL45
1430 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans
LA 70112, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: October 10, 2012; Accepted Date: October 11, 2012; Published Date: October 17, 2012
Citation: Batuman V (2012) Salt and Hypertension: An Evolutionary Perspective. J Hypertens 1:e106. doi:10.4172/2167-1095.1000e106
Copyright: © 2012 Batuman V. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Despite overwhelming evidence linking increased salt intake to hypertension, the relation is still disputed in some circles. Viewing the introduction of salt to human diet on an evolutionary time scale would help us better understand the role of salt in hypertension. Humans and related species evolved in a salt-free environment over millions of years with intense evolutionary pressure for the selection of salt conserving genes. The recorded history confirms how rare and inaccessible salt has been until recently. Thrusting the species that has exquisitely adapted to very low salt intake into salt surfeit conditions represents evolutionary mismatch with catastrophic health consequences. More than a quarter of human populations suffer from hypertension. World Health Organization (WHO) and many governments have now taken action to reduce dietary intake of salt in an effort to reduce the incidence of hypertension and the associated cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.