Why Salt Increases Blood Pressure

We've known for years that eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, but until now we really didn't understand why it happens.

A study from the University of Maryland Medical Center found that a hormone called Ouabain, which is secreted by the Adrenal Gland, which plays a big part in salt and hypertension.

Eating too much salt stimulates Oubain secretion. Then the hormone interacts with proteins in the body causing sodium and calcium to accumulate together in the arteries. That can build up on the walls of the arteries and that can lead to high blood pressure.

Fifty million Americans are believed to have high blood pressure. If it's not treated it can lead to severe complications. Hypertension is likely to cause a stroke, it can cause heart failure it can cause a heart attack and it can cause chronic kidney disease.

To keep blood pressure level down, cut the salt out of your diet in any way you can. Don't add salt to your food, season with herbs and spices instead. Avoid things like sodas, processed foods, and canned foods, most of them have high salt contents. And those TV dinners or frozen entrees even though they may be lean, they can be loaded with salt.

Researchers say understanding exactly how salt effects the body could lead to the development of new treatments and medications.