Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Diets high in salt could deplete calcium in the body

Date:
July 24, 2012
Source:
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Summary:
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 may have solved this puzzle through their work with animal lab models.

Principal investigator Todd Alexander and his team recently discovered an important link between sodium and calcium.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

When sodium leaves a body, it takes calcium along with it, creating risk for kidney stones and osteoporosis.

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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. "Diets high in salt could deplete calcium in the body." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120724131604.htm>.
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. (2012, July 24). Diets high in salt could deplete calcium in the body. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120724131604.htm
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. "Diets high in salt could deplete calcium in the body." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120724131604.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins